Are you sick of spending a ton of money to go to an over-crowded music venue with a terrible view? Are you ashamed of your “old-man” earplugs because now you’re an adult and you’ve realized that your addiction to loud music is slowly destroying your hearing? Well if you said yes, we have discovered an underground secret show circuit that offers that intimate setting to appreciate live music, a good view, and enjoyable volume level. The best part is that it doesn’t require any cash – only your respectful attention. Sofar Sounds, the answer to your musical prayers!
These events showcase emerging talents in the indie-music scene, as well as well-established artists. The performers are kept a secret until guests arrive at the venue and see discreet posters taped to the walls listing the menu of talent for the evening. So, why all the secrecy? “Keeping SofarSounds as ‘secret shows’ creates a sense of curiosity, which keeps drawing people back for more. Many like the fun, spontaneous element of surprise, ” shared Monina Castillo, Sofar’s L.A. PR rep. “People also feel special being part of an “in-the-know” music discovery movement and community that offers a different experience than the typical music venue or club.”
The shows are free and you can BYOB so you’re not spending $10 on a can of PBR. However, Sofar welcomes donations to help pay their videographers and editors, who put together the performance videos of each band on Sofar’s YouTube channel, where you can keep enjoying them over and over.
You may ask yourself: “How do I get into one of these super awesome secret shows?” All it takes is the Internet and a little patience - no need for a famous uncle, a small fortune, or forged backstage passes. Head over to http://www.sofarsounds.com/, sign up, and RSVP for the shows you’d like to attend in the city of your choice. You’ll get an email confirmation a couple of days before the show letting you know if you’re invited. Heads up though, since the shows are in small intimate spaces, they can’t accommodate large numbers at a time, so sometimes it can take a few tries before getting invited. But don’t be disappointed and RSVP as many times as you want because the organization works hard to make sure everyone gets a chance to see a session eventually.
In keeping with the spirit of Sofar Sounds, the first show I went to was a totally last-minute adventure. A friend of mine had finally received an invitation after months of waiting. Luckily for me, her original +1 fell through. We arrived at an amazing three-story loft in Atwater Village, early enough to witness the videographers setting up shop in the kitchen across from a menagerie of instruments set up in the living room. That night we indulged in the musical stylings of The Parlour Suite (http://www.theparloursuite.com/), Sales (http://wearenotsales.com/), and My Double My Brother (http://mydoublemybrother.com/). I had never heard of these bands before and I had awesomeness-induced goosebumps the entire time. I was hooked.
Whether you’re interested in discovering new artists or praying to the music gods for an intimate show with one of your long-time faves, these shows are an amazing experience you’ll never forget. I promise the awesomeness will give you goose bumps, unless you’re a soulless robot. In that case please skip the show and save that spot for a real live music lover.