Sofar Round Two: July        

Sofar Round Two: July

July 13, 2019

Last month we officially opened our courtyard gates to another season of summer Sofar shows! If you aren’t familiar, the global team at Sofar Sounds chooses unique locations to host intimate, acoustic shows throughout the world. Beyond has partnered again with Sofar to put on several outdoor shows of the summer. Sofar extends past Chicago’s broad shoulders and takes place around the world in 411 cities. The allure of a Sofar Sounds show is that the location and artists are not revealed until a day before the event. You could be hearing an acoustic set in a loft, living room, restaurant space, or the Beyond courtyard from any and every genre of music (including comedy). The artists range from local up and comers, underground musicians, and also renowned singers like Ed Sheeran, Hozier, and Karen O.The three bands that performed at our July show last Friday were Ré Alissa, Jason Seed Stringtet, and Sylmar. They ranged from R&B, classical, and indie jam band.  Stay tuned for our next summer show and a courtyard comedy show later this month! All photography courtesy of @iamjazmine.

“Ré Alissa is an upcoming R&B artist from Chicago, IL. A vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, she utilizes combinations of soulful vocals, refreshing harmonies and melodic rhythms; having her loyal following gravitate towards her good vibes. Her music takes listeners on an intense roller-coaster of emotions throughout the highs and lows of dealing with love, life, and relationships-making it easy for anyone to join in her inner circle and present their vulnerabilities while relating to the material at hand.

Award-winning guitarist/composer Jason Seed has brought together string players from the Chicago and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras to perform his small-ensemble compositions. This group’s first album, released in 2011, is entitled “The Escapist”.” Taken from The Hype Magazine’s profile on the artist.

Sylmar is an indie-rock, stoner-jazz,dream-rock, quintet based in Cincinnati. They play in rock bars, college hangouts, basements, theaters and festivals with a fat-grinned enthusiasm. In June, 2017 they released their self-titled, debut LP. They were also nominated for Best New Artist and Best Indie Band at the 2017 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards (CEA).

Vocalist Brian McCullough (tenor_SM58) has a lot to work with, sometimes holding on to the melody and other times dangling off the edge (figurativly and literally, like this guy has a 90% chance of falling off the stage). Luke Glaser (guitar_riviera) and Dan Sutter (guitar_strat) rotate between rhythm and lead guitar with a cool demeanor. Stylistically, their tone and technique differ quite a bit, but together they create a beautiful, melodic dynamic, dripping with atmosphere and lo-fi sensibilities. Chase Watkins (bass_unknown) and CJ Eliasen (drums_ludwig/cymbals_meinl)are strapping lads. They write cutting rhythms that counter and combine, drive and float, easy to digest but difficult to harness.

Sylmar songwriting conflicts, taking rock genre to the meat grinder. Contagious hooks and crafty crescendos are often hampered by time changes, false endings and raucous improvisation, resulting in a bold, original, and accessible sound. Just enough to keep the crowd both on their toes in anticipation as well as on their feet, dancing.  Like Korean cuisine, Sylmar is best enjoyed live.

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