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  • Writer's pictureKaralynn Cromack

Things to Try Before You Die: A Sofar Sounds Concert

This week me and my roommate were looking for something to do, and we were stuck in that spot where you want to go to an event out of the house, but also need to make a decision on short notice. We landed on trying a Sofar Chicago concert (it was my first time, but my roomie had been to one last summer).

Sofar Sounds is a musical community that prioritizes the meaning and intimacy of music shows, while still giving the excitement of a concert setting. Part of the appeal and excitement of the shows is that the venue/ artists are mysteries to the guest up until about a day before the event. So if you are very particular with your music then be cautious attending. The artists are typically less experimental and centered around acoustic or pop indie bands and artists, but the shows hold performances from 3 artists so you’ll get a taste of a few variations. The venue we ended up attending was called The Schoolhouse, with a lounging bar area in the front and the music hall taking after a school gym (the acoustics were great!).

Another highlight was that the artists picked for each round tend to be smaller local artists, some of which were in the process of working out their first projects. In my opinion, this is an amazing chance to discover and support starting musicians. On top of the spotlight, the atmosphere of Sofar shows is very personal so interaction before and after sets is not only encouraged, but really valued by the artists. A fun game to play before the show was to guess back and forth who in the lounge was a member of the bands that would be playing.

The 3 artists we saw were by the names of Viano and The Wave, Flamingo Haze and Bomethius. The audience was incredibly comfortable and about the size of a small kickback. It truly felt as if we were in a private show. Every moment was soul filled and lively, and because nobody knew the songs everyone was equally absorbed in the set. The only time the silence was broken was for the sake of applause or to respond in conversation to the artist’s questions.

A lot of the artists also ran their own merchandise tables after the show was over and my room mate and I took some time to talk with Flamingo Haze. We found some commonality between me and them, as it was their first time at a Solar show as well. Taking time after the show to linger, allowed us to settle in that feeling of excitement, trying something new and meeting new people who love music just as much as us. I would encourage everyone to try attending a Sofar show just to feel where the night and music take them. No matter where you are you have the chance, considering they’re a global community with set ups in roughly 400 cities. And if not a Sofar Sounds show, why not find any outlet to take you somewhere you’ve never been before?

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