I have often day dreamt of watching artists perform in intimate settings, and often envied those fortunate enough to attend secret shows. I was on the outside-looking-in before I discovered SoFar Sounds, the volunteer-based organization (started in London in 2009 ) that puts on private concerts in select living rooms all around the world each month (18 cities, to be exact). Advertised via word-of-mouth and social media, the concert series is a unique showcase for new (and not so new) local bands.
Seats are limited and in-demand, but after months of futile attempts I was lucky enough to score an invite to the most recent performance in Los Angeles, held in a loft in the Warehouse District of downtown. Upon my arrival, I mingled with fellow concertgoers (unsurprisingly, a collection of cool indie folk) for 30 minutes, or so, before an MC welcomed everyone and urged us all to find our show-watching spot, which meant standing, sitting on the ground, or perched on a stool/chair/couch.
Each band (there were four — Baywood, The Herbert Bail Orchestra, Meg Myers, and Races) performed four songs, with a brief intermission in between, with the entire thing streamed live on SoFar’s Facebook page. The best part, music aside? NO ONE talked during the performances. Despite a buzzing pre-show atmosphere, the music that followed rang out loud and clear, uninhibited by chatter, allowed to fill every corner of the well-lit, considerately-decorated industrial setting.
Herbert Bail Orchestra.
Overall, the night was a success: cozy vibe, great music, cool people.
I cannot wait to attend many more SoFarLA’s to come (that is, if I get in!)
**If you’d like to attend a future SoFar show in your city, please sign up for their mailing list!