So how did it all start? To sum it up for you in short terms, Sofar began in London as a platform for artists and audiences to come together in a space that was dedicated to the music and the performers. This idea was so potent that many cities started their own Sofar chapters. We are now in 342 cities worldwide, with around 500 opportunities every month for artists to play. With Sofar Sounds the music always comes first and working in the radio industry I know that sometimes the music gets lost in the hustle and bustle of life, so it’s nice to just enjoy the magic of music. Sofar has even hosted big name artists like Leon Bridges, FRANKIE, X Ambassadors, and Bastille.
How do you attend? So, before I get to my experience, attending a Sofar event is simple. All you have to do is apply (Link Below) and wait for a confirmation. The location of the event will be revealed to you the day before the show, which is pretty cool and you can add a +1 to your application at any point up until confirming your space.
Lex Paige Reaction I was able to attend my first SoFar event, which was hosted at someone’s beautiful home in the university area and featured local artists John Burnette, Heather Himes, and Cuzco. Out of the three, I had seen Cuzco live before (As a friend of mine is actually in the band) but the other two artists were new to me and I was really excited to hear their sounds. As I brought my partner in crime in music coverage with me Mark Borja, he and I grabbed a beer, socialized and anxiously waited for the music to begin.
First up was John Burnette. Originally from a little town in Arkansas with about 3000 people and now based in Charlotte (Random fact I loved) His songs were intertwined with personal memories and just all around moving to the soul. His song, “Jim” was really touching to me. Once you hear the lyrics and if you know me you’ll 100% know why. Overall, John reminded me of a mix between John Mayer and Johnny cash. A lot of Johns apparently; but just a soulful but a little country twang sound.
Next on the patio was Dust & Ashes. The band, featuring Heather Himes, had this breathtaking indie folk sound with a killer violinist, which was very different from what I’ve ever heard at local venues in Charlotte. I must say, her look was eclectic too and I loved it. It was very impressive to her replacement violinist learned the songs all in one night. Her song “Alone” was my personal favorite during the set with a beautiful melody, capturing lyrics and just an all-around great vibe.
Finally, Cuzco was to close the show. A Charlotte local favorite, the band is made up of Arman Serdarevic, lead guitarist, William Schoonmaker, lead guitarist, Matt McConomy, bassist, Dylan Robbins, percussionist, and Kevin Washburn on Saxophone. What’s interesting to me about this band is it is all instrumental, which is uncommon, however, they constantly emulate positive vibes with their progressive-alternative math rock sound. I loved the way the band incorporated the sounds of nature before hitting their first chords during their set and my favorite was their song “You Said Number 11” and with their album A Medicine for Melancholy just released on Spotify, you can hear the bands unique sound for yourself.
What I really like about Sofar is how collective it is. All the bands I saw that night were so different but blended together so well. Not only are the artists performing for free, but hosts and volunteering help to create the community atmosphere of the show; which is really beautiful and pure in a sense. The Sofar Sounds truly gives you the other side of the Charlotte music scene. It was awesome to be in a setting with a diverse variety of people, pets, and musical talents. It really is an original vision, almost like a modern day speakeasy which the whole secretive element, mixed with a live grab-bag touch in my opinion. You never know what you are going to get and it’s fantastic. I 100% recommend attending a Sofar show during some point of your life because of it so authentic and great for the artists and audience. (Next One is May 21st, 2017)
Want to attend your first SoFar Charlotte show? Click HERE to apply for tickets