A soulful voice fills the air as Brazilian singer, Caro Pierotto and her band perform on stage, her words are organic and the sounds, soothing… therapeutic. The scene is serene, as an intimate crowd surrounds a dimly lit stage under the warm night sky in Old Town Pasadena last Thursday.

Katja Liebing/Courier Visitors listen to Adam Topol and his band during a Sofar Sounds event at a secret location in Pasadena on Thursday, September 22, 2016.

This is Sofar Sounds.

It’s not a typical concert, in fact, the crowd had no clue that Pierotto, along with electronic indie pop duo, Charlie May and folk singer/songwriter, Adam Topol would be performing that night, further, the concert location was kept secret up until the day of the event. The best part? The venue can range from a person’s living room to a warehouse, and even a parking lot.

Sofar Sounds is a nonprofit global community that operates worldwide (in 274 different cities to be exact), whose mission is to provide a platform in which new music and artists can be discovered in the form of secret shows. For both the attendees and the performers, it provides an innovative way to take in live music, a departure from traditional methods which tend to focus on large venus, headliners, and merchandise sales.

For someone like Pierotto, who has entertained in several countries and for bigger crowds, the experience is unique and sought after.

“The fact that people are here to listen to the music, that’s something I value as an artist. They are not here to drink, to find someone from Tinder…. they are here with their hearts and open ears. I find it special because that is so rare for us as musicians,” Pierotto said.

Even Topol, who has worked as a professional drummer for years and performed alongside the likes of, Eddie Vedder, Ziggy Marley and Jack Johnson was struck with awe as he showcased his set.

“This is amazing..everyone is just here for the music.. LA (Los Angeles) can be rough, this is cool,” Topol said, as he marveled at the audience.

Music fans also seem to appreciate the concept.
“This is my first Sofar show, I didn’t know what to expect… it’s a really chill vibe, and all of these artist are really, like really good, I can’t wait to go to the next one.” Bianca Hernandez said.

Sofar teases concert goers on their website by suggesting they attend a show, but only if  “they can get in.” So far that hasn’t stopped the thousands of music lovers, who have been flocking to their page since 2010 and signing up for a seat at the next secret show.

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