Of Secret Shows and Summer Nights

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A couple of weeks ago I received an invitation from one of my favorite bag stores, Bratpack, inviting me to a secret gig of sorts.  I soon learned that this was for the third installment of a global music movement. Sofar Sounds (short for Songs from a Room) is a group that organizes secret intimate concerts around the world. These shows take place not in grand arenas or theaters, but in the comfort of a volunteer’s living room. In fact, the entire production is powered by volunteers: the bands, the crew, the venue and setup, everything. To add a little spin on things, this session’s “living room” happened to be the Taft branch of Bratpack.

I must say I didn’t really know what to expect so I grabbed a couple of friends and ventured into the unknown on a clear summer night. We inched our way through Taft’s notorious traffic and reached our destination just in time to waltz right in and have a seat on the banig mats. Cozy!

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Not before signing up, of course.

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The setup. The bags were absolute eye candy!

We settled ourselves in and got a bit of a briefing from Team Sofar MNL about what they do before they introduced the first performers, an acoustic duo by the name of Reese and Vica. Their sound had a nice and breezy mood to it that made me picture myself frolicking in a field as a light spring rain falls from the clouds. (Sorry, I grew up on a lot of Disney so…)

Despite some initial jitters, the girls picked up their momentum quite well and ended their set with smiles all around. Definitely an act I’d like to see again!

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I also really liked her shoes.

I also really liked her shoes.

Next up was a girl named April a.k.a The Sun Manager. The room mellowed out as her soothing vocals washed over us. Her bandmates shortly joined her and gave the set an even fuller sound. If I heard correctly, most of the members of the group were from different bands, so it was nice to see them bring their different styles together into a single superband.

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The last performance of the night was by a fun group called The Ransom Collective. From the very first note, I knew we were going to really enjoy their set. Their assortment of drums and strings, blended with flawless harmonies had everyone bouncing and clapping along. We may not have noticed it at the time, but I’m quite certain we all had goofy grins on our faces the whole time. It’s probably because of their  happy vibes and the way they were so attuned to one another that these guys won the top spot in the recent Wanderband competition. Their set gave me one more act to look forward to at Wanderland!

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I had a chat with some of my fellow bloggers after the show about how it’s talent like this that deserves to be showcased, funded, and promoted in our local music scene. There is so much amazing talent just beneath the crusty old layer of cookie cutter girlies who just do Top 40 ‘acoustic’ covers and starlets who can’t sing a note but do so anyway. This should be our music scene. This should be playing on our airwaves and printed on our ticket stubs. I’m glad groups like these three are being given avenues to bring quality music to the local industry, because they are what the sick and crippled animal that is popular OPM needs to soar once again.

When all was said (more like sung) and done, we all went home with new friends, new music, and bounces in our steps. Thank you Bratpack and Sofar Sounds for an unforgettable night! :)

 

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