School Night OC hopes to mimic success of LA series

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Tuesday night, the popular School Night showcase series debuts in Orange County. Taking place at The Parish at House of Blues Anaheim, there is reason to believe the series can be as successful as its predecessor that takes place every Monday night at Bardot in Hollywood.

If you’re not already familiar, School Night is responsible for booking some of the earliest L.A. gigs from the likes of alt-J, HAIM, BORNS, Father John Misty, Hozier, James Bay, and many others. I myself have discovered many awesome performers through the series — including Meg Myers, Cub Sport, Jack Garratt, Charlotte OC, Hazel English, and Luna Shadows among others.

I spoke with Sharyn Goldyn via e-mail ahead of their Orange County launch. Goldyn is spearheading the project and has a pretty spectacular background, having spent several years as an agent at Windish (now Paradigm), which included booking numerous artists at School Night at Bardot.

“Chris Douridas and his team have impeccable taste and have created something really special in L.A.,” Goldyn told me. “I honestly didn’t have to think twice when they asked me to join the team. It’s an honor to be part of School Night.”

The Parish is a 400-capacity room that’s part of the new House of Blues Anaheim. The larger venue has been booking excellent shows since re-opening at the end of February. Nabbing School Night as part of their calendar is a pretty good feather in the cap for the LiveNation venue.

To my knowledge, Orange County doesn’t possess this kind of weekly free showcase where people can discover some dope on-the-rise talents. In Los Angeles, School Night competes weekly with free shows at The Echo, The Satellite, and the Bootleg and yet still manages to fill out every week. That said, Orange County is a bit of an unknown as far as how a series like this will perform.

“The biggest challenge is building an audience that returns every week regardless of which act is playing,” Goldyn said. “The booking for the LA series has been so strong and consistent throughout the years that the audience is built in and it’s a given that attendees will discover great new music. Since the OC series is just beginning, we aren’t sure about the demographic just yet. We just hope to book the best bands possible and attract music lovers of all ages in the area.”

In booking the first Orange County edition of School Night, the brand decided to nab two local acts that are gaining some steam as of late — Half the Animal and HAWAI.

“I loved HAWAI the second I heard their new single, ‘I’m Not Dead’,” Goldyn said. “Half the Animal played our series last week and put on a fantastic show. Angelica Garcia came our way via Warner Brothers and has a really strong female voice — reminds me a lot of Courtney Barnett. Birthdays are very new but super solid — they are playing the following week on our LA series so it made sense for them to play OC.”

Grant Owens of We Found New Music is also on board to book the DJs that play School Night. If you’ve ever been to one of the shows at Bardot, you’re probably like me and have Shazamed more than a handful of songs during these in-between band DJ sets. If you’re around Orange County, I highly recommend checking out School Night at The Parish on Tuesday night!

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