Last Saturday something special happened at my house, there was a concert in my backyard.
There’s a company called SoFar Sounds, and I love what they’re about. SoFar finds people to host concerts in their homes or backyards, then they find artists to play those shows, then on a certain date they have a set of artists play a concert in your home or backyard, and strangers buy tickets and attend the show. It’s awesome, if you don’t mind having strangers in your house.
The sound and equipment guys got to our house at around 3 and started setting up. I met the two guys, their names are Mike and Wes, they’re pretty cool. They set up the stage area right next to our chicken coup and in front of the fire pit. It was a pretty cramped stage, but it was perfect for the kind of concert we were going to have.
The performers got there at around 6 to set up their equipment and do sound checks, some people who were friends of the performers got their too. All of the people attending got there at 6:30. I brought down my camera and took photos of the whole night. I got a chance to meet everyone performing, but one of them stood out.
The guy’s name was Conner Cherland, he played first. He’s an awesome guitarist and a great songwriter. He’s only 25 years old but he’s married and has a working music career going for him He has an album out right now called “wanting man” and it has 6 songs on it, but he played a few of his new ones that are coming out on June 1st.
He has an awesome style, it’s just his voice, his guitar, a foot tambourine, a stomp box, a looping pedal, and a couple of effects. And he does everything. He has a great voice too, and he was very funny.
After he played his set, I talked to him for a little while before the next act. We talked about music, how he writes songs, guitars, and we kind of just vibed. I told him about my 1998 Fender Stratocaster I have at that house and he said “cool let’s go see it”. So then we hung out in my room for a while with my sister and we talked, then the next band started.
The next band was a band called “Tyler”. They were a country/folk band and they had an awesome sound. It was a five piece band with a lap steel guitarist, a lead guitarist, bass, drums, and a lead singer. They really sounded like any big name country artist today, and it was like having a country concert in my backyard. Because that’s exactly what happened. There was a country band playing in my backyard.
The sun had set and it was dark. The venue was only lit by a line of dim outdoor lights. The next band was “The Riverside”. They moved super close to the audience so they could be in the light. They were a four person band with a violinist, a double bassist, a guitarist, and a drummer with just a bass drum, snare, and a high hat. Everyone sang. They were a great band to close the night, and unfortunately I don’t have any good pictures of them because of the crap lighting. They were calm and sang about California, Montana, and had a great sound.
I helped strike everything down, and so did Conner. My dad helped out as well. Sophia Recale, the director of the SoFar venues in Santa Barbara, offered me a job after the venue was over, and asked me if I would be willing to work with her in the future and take pictures of SoFar events in Santa Barbara. I said yes. Conner told me he would let me know if he ever needed someone to design a logo or album cover, or if he wanted me for photo.
This was a unique experience and I don’t think I’ll ever be a part of something like this again. It was heaps of fun and I’m so grateful that my stepmom and my dad hosted a SoFar venue. I met some great people and heard some great music. And I think the best part was the connection between audience and artist. The artist assimilated into the audience when their set was over, and talked to the audience and answered questions, rather than just remaining a mysterious figure on a stage. I wish more performers would get to know their audience, but maybe I’m just old fashioned.