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Photo gallery by Anna Selle, Story by Steven Ervay, Poster by Nick Howland
It was a muggy night. Like, extremely muggy. “It’s actually like 37° right now, it’s just a thousand percent humidity,” joked Austin Ward, drummer of the first band of the night – the Noise FM. But we’ll get into more of that later.
This specific Sofar was a special one, as we gathered in celebration of Amnesty International. Sofar cities worldwide hosted events this evening, all in homes, to raise awareness of Amnesty’s mission – to protect human rights. Between band sets, representatives from both Amnesty’s KC chapter and the Jewish Vocational Services spoke about the impact and the needs of their organizations. Both speakers being immigrants, their talks were exceptionally powerful.
As mentioned, Chicago (by way of Lawrence, KS) power pop trio the Noise FM kicked the night off. While the audience sat in lawn chairs and on blankets spattered about a beautiful South Plaza home’s lawn, the band was perched up on the porch, nothing but a ring light illuminating them. The group performed two of their fan-favorites, as well as two new songs from an upcoming release. “They asked us to play a stripped down acoustic set and that just sounded weird with our music, so we’re just playing everything at half. Does that sound ok?” The band’s penchant for comedy shone through their short set.
Passing along the torch, Kansas City favorites Hembree played next. For a band that sounds as big as this trio, the stripped down and intimate vibe of the night really lent itself well to them. Balancing that fine line between getting the crowd to dance and calming all of our nerves with their dynamic mix, they pulled off something really special.
Enrique Chi of Making Movies closed the night, and what a powerful set that was. For years now, Chi, and Making Movies, have been using their voices to support immigrant rights and human decency. Beginning his set with a cover of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” really set the mood for what Chi stands for and will continue to fight for.
The night wound down, a few people stuck around to chat with the bands. Another sold out Sofar Sounds Kansas City in the books. Sofar Sounds Kansas City would like to thank Playlistplay, Do816, Amnesty International, Boulevard Brewing Company, & Virgin Mobile.