Last night I had the pleasure to attend a secret concert in a pop-up music venue through an invitation from a friend. It was definitely a unique experience offered through Sofar Sounds. Best described as an alternative to more traditional concerts, Sofar Sounds’ shows bring the focus back to the music.
To attend one of these concerts, you must apply to be in attendance, at first only knowing the date and general neighborhood. If you win this lottery, you get a plus two and you find out the venue’s location the day prior to the event. You only discover the artists playing when you arrive.
Like a scene out from some sort of hipster Fight Club, we entered a basement store that served as the venue. In this case, it was a café/boutique named “Fair Folks & A Goat.” The sole identifier to concert-goers signifying that we were indeed in the correct spot was a little sign on the door that read “Sofar.”
I stood amongst many other twenty-somethings drinking a Montauk’s Summer Ale, in hopes of forgetting the cold outside, soaking in the bizarre atmosphere. Then we were told “to have a seat (on the floor) for the show’s about to start.” But there were some rules they had to go over beforehand. And, again, in true Fight Club fashion, I fully expected to hear, “Don’t talk about Sofar,” and “if this is your first Sofar concert, you must fight.” Oddly enough, the first rule rung similar to Fight Club’s: absolutely no talking while the musicians performed. In opposition to Fight Club’s initial two rules, you could not use your phone, unless it was to promote the show via social media. The third rule was merely a suggestion to stick around for all the musical acts, in this case three.
As for the music, it was an eclectic hodge-podge of wonder. It opened up with Magana, an alternative pop singer-songwriter who wowed us with her original love songs and a cover of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me.”
Next up was Dan Kassel, and his cello, who played beautifully, only revealing after his first song that he seamlessly utilized a loop station to layer his sounds together to create complex compositions.
Finally, Deshawn Flaire, a rapper from Chicago, came out. Although missing his guitarist last night, be brought out a friend to make up new beats and rhythms live. A fantastic end to the night.
I strongly recommend checking out these artists on Bandcamp, SoundCloud, and YouTube. And if you feel like entering the mysterious world of pop-up concerts, seek out Sofar Sounds.