NEW YORK CITY: Sofar Sounds
Soho’s furniture shop Lazzoni was converted into an intimate venue, with Sofar Sounds’ secret gig in New York City. The night saw performances from three bands, with an audience perched on the floor and on items-to-be-sold in an interactive and high-quality gig. Sofar Sounds was created from a desire for gigs with less of a disconnect between the performers and audience, which is something that was achieved greatly at this Sofar.
4-piece band Frances Cone’s unplugged set particularly showed the intimacy of the gig and also the purity in the musicality of the band. Currently recording an album in Nashville, the band’s lead singer Christina Cone brought a really raw voice to the stage. In addition to the guitar and percussion often seen, the band also had a rare usage of the omnichord, adding a unique, interesting sound to their soft, folksy music. The band performed mostly original songs, as well as Black Keys cover ‘These Days’ which was performed in a highly original way, completely keeping in tone with the band.
Band Howard took to the stage next, performing soft vocals with highly interesting guitar picking, with a very subtle and classy use of the loop pedal to create unique melodies. Howard made use of a drumkit to enhance the music, the soft tone enhanced by the use of the jazz rakes as opposed to drum sticks, showing the drums to be used more melodically than usual, as well as rhythmically.
7 piece band Pants Velour closed the night, with a highly versatile set, consisting of more jazz, blues style to some rather scandalous and enjoyable rapping. This band also made use of the double bass- something which I rarely see in gigs. The soul style vocalist complimented the rapping in a very unique way, which is a combination not often seen. It was evident each band member had high sense of musicality, as the keys player also joined in with the vocals, as well as each member of the band being equally important to the sound and very prominent in the music.
Sofar Sounds really showed the uniqueness of its set-up, successfully joining the musicians to the audience in its quiet, attentive listeners, all equally involved in each of the bands and with evident enjoyment. Sofar Sounds runs its secret gigs across 150 cities worldwide, so be sure to check out the next set of Sofar Sounds in your city!