A single bouncer stood atop a slanted slab of concrete probably used in former years as a loading dock. A four story building loomed above him, completely dark except for a few twinkling lights on the fourth floor. The bouncer directs us down a fluorescent lit hallway ending in a spacious elevator. It fits seven or so of us as we ascend to the top floor. We are old and young and everything in between. Harriet Brown’s soprano spills into the dark hall before us as the elevator doors open. Attendees brand us with a Minty Boi bracelet and let us pass into what seems to be a red abyss. Eyes, mouths, chain chokers; they all glow crimson under the red lights. Harriet B. stands above the crowd swaying to the synthetic beats while riffing on his guitar. His melodies aren’t far from sermons and the crowd listening not far from a flock of sheep. Docile and demure, that’s what he makes us. “Bag Away” brings the crowd up to the stage and turns their easy side steps into a collective harmonious sway. And just like that their set is over. Low ambient music snakes through the crowd. Dr. Marten’s stomp the ground headed for the exit.
Complimenting strangers is great way to pass the time and strike up a conversation. The best stranger is one who has just moved to LA. They always have an idyllic story about why they moved here, like they are starting a fashion brand or filming professional skate videos. They have dreams and they’re ready to share them with me and you, and that Insta-famous kid standing next to them. Other people there happened to be well known artists themselves, but here they were standing shoulder to shoulder with the crowd-folk. Celebrity culture is not prominent here.
A microphone rings and the crowd shuffles in as Sean Nicholas Savage takes the stage. He is a tall man with an infectious smile. He calls us cool and he calls us real. A guaranteed applause. He grabs the microphone cord when he walks the stage, diving into his first song with a lung. He feels it in his gut. Like Harriet, Sean sings a soprano, and belts out notes most couldn’t dream of singing. The crowd belts them out too.They know his music. To be Sean, to be known; that is a special feeling. Everyone expresses themselves differently when they feel music. Some people are head shakers, and others need room to trot. A few couples danced in the spotty patches of the crowd. They had a circle of six feet under the scarlet moon and they used every inch of it. Twirling and spinning each other gently. Hips moving left to right to left. Sean ends his set with “song”.
Our time is up. A drip down the elevator ends our journey. We trade redlight for moonlight and head our separate ways.
Written by Jenny Lee