2/21/14 – House Show


When I first heard about Sofar Sounds, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The idea is to create intimate musical experiences by holding shows in small spaces, like apartment living rooms across the world. The list of cities that have hosted these shows is extensive. As a first-time attendee, I imagined I’d see a few acoustic sets, perhaps peppered with the occasional electric piano performance. I was wrong.

This month’s Sofar Boston show was held in a beautiful loft-style apartment in the Leather District. Upon arrival, audience members were warmly greeted and ushered into a large room fully set up with lights and equipment. The night started off with solo artist Thomas John Cadrin, who sang and accompanied himself on guitar. He began shyly, explaining that his performances were usually theatrical in that the pieces were connected by a story. Because he had to cut down his set due to time constraints, however, he said that it might be hard to understand. This initial self-consciousness, coupled with the fact that it was difficult to follow what he talked about between songs, made his perhaps the weakest of the night’s three sets. Even so, his stage presence improved as he began to relax into his music. He talked less and really got into a groove with his guitar, pounding out complex rhythms and teasing the audience with dynamic changes.

Next up was The Western Den, who took the prize for most euphonic. The band created their ethereal sound with two and three-part harmonies, accented by well-placed trumpet and violin riffs. The audience was quiet for the hypnotic performance, but burst into loud cheers and applause when it finished. Out of the three sets, this was the one that I craved more of. Fortunately, they have several upcoming shows in the Boston area; more information can be found on their Bandcamp or Facebook page.

Las Cafeteras finished out the night by getting the whole crowd on their feet. Hailing from Los Angeles, they called themselves “a group of chicanos” about whom “the stereotypes were all true and all false.” They were a source of pure energy, dancing and pounding beats into the ground with their heels. Even with a short set, they managed to display their range, starting off with a mariachi-type piece and moving into a love song and even a rap. Las Cafeteras was a perfect closing act, as they got the audience up and interacting with each other after sitting cross-legged on the floor for the past three hours.

All in all, Sofar Boston exceeded my expectations in terms of variety and professionalism. It had none of the disorganization that I would expect from a pop-up show, and the audience was friendly and enthusiastic. You can subscribe to their newsletter to attend one of their secret shows, but don’t get discouraged if you don’t get an invite the first time — this one’s worth the wait.

Sofar Sounds Boston: February 2014
  • Professionalism
  • Variety of performers
  • Limited interaction with the audience
7.5Overall Score

2 Responses

  1. Local Spotlight: The Western Den » Sound of Boston

    […]     Chris and Deni are dating, and they are the core of the Western Den. They front the band together at shows, equally sharing stage banter and song introductions. As we walked into Jaho, Chris held open the door for us. He’s genuine in the way that draws people to him– after shows, you’ll find him in the middle of the audience, talking with friends and thanking people for coming.We pulled up chairs around a small, unsteady, circular table and I delved into the history of the band that had captivated me at a Sofar Sounds concert in February. […]


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