“ I think we’re here.”
The uber driver threw us a look over his shoulder—part questioning “is this the place”, part subtle hint “alright, get out of my car, I’ve got other fares to catch tonight.”
“Is this the right add—” He began, but we were already out of the car and joining the others milling on the sidewalk, glancing between phones and house numbers for last minute confirmation they too were in the correct place.
My friend and I head towards the house directly in front of us and I see the small sign tucked under the house number: So far Sounds.
I first heard about So Far Sounds the way anyone hears about anything these days– social media. My friend from college, that currently lives in Shanghai, was on trip to Paris to visit some of her friends, and ended up as a plus one at a secret, intimate concert of local artists ( yeah, she’s one of those effortlessly cool people that would casually end up at an awesome, secret concert ) .
An Instagram post later, and I’m intrigued. I go from reading her post to scrolling through the results of #sofarsounds. Thirty minutes and countless photos later and I’ve made my way from the hashtag to the official account to the website. I’m reading about their mission : Bringing the magic back to live music. I love it.
Fast forward six months, and two waitlists later, and I’m at my first event. It turns out So Far Sounds isn’t just some awesome European thing; it’s a global movement. And guess what city has a chapter of So Far Sounds? My city. Yes, Dallas!
Today’s venue is a suburban home in an unassuming neighborhood. Inside, a group of thirty or forty ( I’m not the best at estimates) is sprawled in chairs, on couches, or camped out on the floor on blankets and cushions. There’s the general murmur of conversation, but as the host rises to announce the start of the show, the chatter dies down and phones are put away.
The night begins with a ukulele version of Kanye West’s Everything I Am. Let me repeat—a ukulele version of a Kanye west song. I have a ridiculous smile on my face because I . Am . Here. For. It.
The audience is nodding along, swaying in their seats, but for once you don’t need to strain to hear the musician at a live music event. The shuffle and bustle of a busy bar is absent. The friends that were dragged to an event, but don’t really want to be there, aren’t sitting right in front of you discussing topics so vapid you feel you may be losing brain cells. It’s just a small room, filled with music and music lovers. This is how music is supposed to be heard.
Don’t get me wrong, I also love the chaos of a crowded bar and a great act and a rowdy audience. I wouldn’t trade one for the other, but this was a nice compliment–the live music equivalent of just wanting to have a drink and conversation with a friend versus a dress up and hit a wild party night.
The night progresses and in between acts pre-packaged jello shots are passed out because some bar donated to the cause. Yes, I’ll have one. Maybe two.
The night continue , and I am simultaneously thrilled by the music and by the fact I’m camped out on a stranger’s living room floor at a secret concert with a surprise line up. This is so freaking cool.
Another uber, a stop for late night grub, and I’m back home thinking about the night. Technically I only traveled a mere ten minutes away from my home, but I saw a different side of Dallas. I experienced one of its secrets, and if truly learning and immersing yourself in a city isn’t one of the best parts of travel , I don’t know what is.
So go to the So Far Sounds Website. See if there is a chapter in your city. Sign up for newsletter so you can get invited to an event. It’s definitely worth going to at least once. It would totally be an awesome date idea as well.
That is all!
Bonus: The local news actually covered the So Far Sounds event I was at. Look for the flash of a blue blanket and the puff of hair—that’s me.