Real Friends "Composure" Listening Parties.
On Friday, June 15th, 2018, Real Friends hosted 3 listening sessions for their upcoming album, Composure (Out July, 13th 2018). Marketing them as “intimate acoustic sessions”, fans had that opportunity to RSVP online and come to see their favorite band in a smaller setting than a band like Real Friends usually plays, such as a coffee shop, local venue, and a screen printing company.
We started the day off bring and early at Sip Of Hope, the Hope For The Day run coffee shop in Logan Square. Even with the event being early, there were fans lined up out the door when I got there. Not knowing what was going on, they had everyone gather inside the coffee shop and just hang out for a little bit while the band finished getting ready. Against the back wall was a table covered with a black sheet. That was very quickly the focus point of the entire room.
The band came out, very obviously not holding any instruments and front-man Dan Lampton announced that there was in-fact no acoustic show today. Instead, the people there would be the very first group of people to hear their new album. You could feel the excitement fill the room as they started playing the album, opened up a photo booth with props that resemble the album artwork, and just hung around with their fans showing off an album they were proud of. And that was just the first stop of the day.
Up next was Evolution Music in Downers Grove, a very popular venue for the local scene here in Chicago. With a line wrapping around the building, the room was nearly filled when doors opened. This one was a little different since it was a venue and there is a stage, that focus was on that as people waited around for the band.
Eric Haines (guitar) came out with an acoustic guitar, jokingly playing to the crowd from the corner of the stage before the rest of the band came out. Welcoming the fans there and just having a good time. When the rest of the band came out to the floor, they announced that Eric’s song was the only acoustic song they’d be hearing that night. There were lots of confused faces throughout the room as Dan continued to explain that they were about to play the new album in full for the entire room. The room quickly filled with dancing, singing along to the singles, and just lots of chatting and people enjoying their time with friends and the band.
The last stop for the night was Rowboat Creative, a screen printing company that they do their merchandise through. The room was decorated with giant screen printed banners from past tours hanging from the ceiling. In my personal opinion, this was the coolest one of them all. Most people by this point of the people at least had an idea of what was up, but that didn’t make the reaction any less cool. A friend of the band came out and played the Star Spangled Banner on an electric guitar, leaving everyone in the room laughing and cheering him on the entire time. As that finished, the band came out from behind the banner and announced what was going on. The room quickly filled with dancing and cheering as the first song started playing over the speakers.
Throughout the day they were offering cupcakes decorated with Real Friends designs, brownies & chocolate covered strawberries. Selling limited edition merchandise, such as the “I listened to the album Composure by Real Friends before you did.” T-shirt, an album cover ringer tee, and a baseball tee. Along with those, there were free posters of the album cover and release date available at every show & a special edition screen printed poster being made on the spot at the Rowboat Creative listening session.
I feel like it really is a day that so many, including myself, will never end up forgetting. I’m so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to hang around and document all of it. I can’t wait for everyone to hear what I would call Real Friends best album yet.
Check out the full photo gallery from the event below!