Last Thursday night, Shining Hope For Communities (SHOFCO) hosted a “2 for 1” concert with Live Footage and The Letter Yellow at 200 Church. Although SHOFCO is still finalizing its goals for the year, the money raised at the show will go toward the Kibera School for Girls, founded by SHOFCO in 2009 and the only tuition-free school for girls in the slum of Kibera, Kenya.
“The theme of the event was ‘2 for 1,’ which was $2, which is pretty inexpensive for the quality of the musicians that were playing, but $2 for two bands for one girl,” said event host and SHOFCO member Lindsay Schapiro ’14. “So $2 sponsors one girl at the school for one day.”
The night started with Live Footage, which used film clips as well as music in its performance for a multi-dimensional ambiance. Topu Lyo and Mike Thies compose the duo, but their use of electronics makes their whole sound seem far greater than the sum of their parts. Lyo played a five-string electric cello, while Thies tackled the drums and keyboard. With the use of a looping device throughout their set, their atmospheric sound took on a whole other dimension. The room was filled with recordings made just seconds before that blended beautifully with the music they were playing in the moment.
Live Footage took the audience on a surrealist, psychedelic trip, keeping the vibe of the concert relaxed but still engaging. A rotating crowd sat comfortably on chairs and couches in the 200 Church lounge and enjoyed the music. Although the crowd wasn’t large, event host and SHOFCO Student Coordinator Maeve Russell ’14 expressed satisfaction with the turnout.
“I think it went really well, especially since it was a Thursday on a very work stressful week,” Russell said. “A lot of people were saying they had their midterms that week, but I think it was just low-key enough that people could come in and then leave.”*
Respecting the space of 200 Church was also important to the group.
“We have our roots from 200 Church,” Russell said. “The founder, Kennedy Odede [’12], was an R.A. for 200 Church.”
SHOFCO holds its weekly meetings in the space as well, maintaining a tradition for the group while also strengthening the bonds between two communities that fight for equality.
The Letter Yellow, the second band of the night, got most people up from their seats while still keeping the atmosphere low-key and under control. Mike Thies also drummed for this soul-funk band, and his dual band membership is how Schapiro discovered the musicians in the first place. Schapiro spent this past summer in Brooklyn, where The Letter Yellow was playing at a prohibited rooftop party.
“[Mike Thies’] brother gave me his email address at the concert,” Schapiro said. “I emailed Mike, who got me in touch with Randy [Bergida], who’s the head of The Letter Yellow. And then a week or two later Mike emailed me saying, ‘I don’t know if you’d be interested, but I play in this other band and I think they would make an interesting kind of vibe for a total show.”
Thies hit the nail on the head. Going from his experimentalist arrangements with Lyo into a fun, groovy set with Bergida and bassist Abe Pollack allowed the audience to enjoy the varied musical compositions. After listening quietly to Live Footage, the audience hit the dance floor with the The Letter Yellow’s entertaining set. Although Lyo wasn’t playing in this set, he made sure to participate, blowing bubbles into the crowd.
At the end of the night, the event raised just under $100. SHOFCO is working toward adding another grade to the Kibera School for Girls, which currently serves students in pre-K through 4th grade. The amount raised on Thursday is the equivalent funding for the forty new students hoping to be enrolled to attend the school for one day.
Both Russell and Schapiro hope that concerts like this one will continue to be a part of SHOFCO’s fundraising efforts. The combination of hearing lively music and knowing that your entry fee helps a good cause created a worthwhile night for the audience.
“We wouldn’t have been doing anything else on a Thursday night, so having two amazing bands come?” Russell said. “No complaints,”