On September 20, I had the pleasure of attending a concert via Sofar Sounds as part of the Give a Home series, where concerts were held all over the world in support of Amnesty International’s mission. Unlike typical Sofar Sounds shows, the lineups were announced ahead of time—and they included some big-name acts; think Ed Sheeran, Moby, and in Chicago, Jack Garratt.
I was lucky to attend this show, nestled in a trendy loft apartment space in Pilsen. Me and the attendees huddled close to the stage setup, seated on a wooden floor and waiting for the acts to begin. A slideshow played psychedelic backdrops while string lights wound their way around the venue, creating a beautiful scene.
The O’My’s opened up the show, much to my excitement. I’d been wanting to see these Chicago natives for a while now, and they did not disappoint (besides not bringing out Chance the Rapper, which is basically always my dream). They were supported by the Burns Twins and created some soulful tunes that got us all grooving. I wanted to hear more, but that’s the allure of Sofar Sounds, isn’t it?
Next up was Pistol Pete, a mainstay in the Chicago blues scene. Besides his hilarious commentary, he brought standout guitar riffs and a singer, Laura, to accompany him. Laura’s voice was Joplin-esque from the moment she sang, taking us on a unique journey through genres from one act to the other. Their musical chemistry was on point and they were the perfect act to continue the show.
As the night wound to a close, we all excitedly anticipated Garratt’s set. The British native-turned Chicagoan was a bit nervous to start, which made his set all the more endearing. He mentioned that this was his second Sofar show, and his first Sofar show was in London—the first live show he ever did, so he was very sentimental (and understandably so). He played several songs including a lush acoustic mix of “The Love You’re Given” and ending aptly with “My House is Your Home,” dedicated to his soon-to-be wife. He forgot his lyrics a few times, which caused an audience member to recite them for him, as he continued on with his music. Not only was he a poignant musician, but he delivered inspirational words that connected us to the mission of Give a Home.
All in all, the concert allowed me not only to take in music I’ve wanted to hear for so long, but it caused me to think about how we fit into the greater picture of humanity, too. The world needs all the help it can get right now, and why should it not start with us? Thank you, Sofar Sounds.