I recently discovered a very cool venue in San Francisco: The Lost Church, a multi-media theatrical production house and venue for live music. Since I had never been there before, I was looking for a church along Ellis Street but you’d actually miss it if you weren’t closely looking for the sign. A small venue, it’s an eclectic and artsy area with about forty or fifty chairs facing the stage.
Imagine naked light bulbs glowing against a red velvet curtains. The phrase “The Greek Chorus” twinkles in gold glitter on an arrow hanging down the wall and along the wall, you’ll spot rose-colored lights and ivy hanging around lights, lamps and paintings.
The Lost Church wasn’t created to be some kind of divey rock ’n’ roll haven according to an article; it is said that The Lost Church is a haven for adventurous souls hungry for new thrills in unexpected settings. You might think it’s got a religious twist given the name and the Mother Mary inside near the bar, but there really isn’t one.
Apparently, the building came to life in 1979, the creation of famous local conceptual artist David Ireland. He’s the one responsible for the geometrically-shaped windows, angled for ideal moon viewing, and the second floor bridge that winds across the room and doubles as a balcony during performances. Four years later, it became The Capp Street Project, an installation gallery, until Brett Cline took it over in 1997. The space pretty much stayed out of the public eye until 2011.
Since opening to the public as a “theatrical production house” last February, they’ve hosted numerous plays, musical performances, and variations on those themes. I was there to see Rob Hotchkiss and his wife Pamela Haines perform.
Rob won a Grammy Award (Best Rock Song) for “Drops of Jupiter”, and was the musical force behind hits such as “Meet Virginia”, “Free”, “I Am”, and “Get to Me”. Rob founded the band Train, and his songwriting helped to create their multi-platinum success, but, due to musical differences, he left after their third album. After leaving Train, Rob recorded and produced his solo album, Midnight Ghost, which received tremendous critical acclaim. Rob’s classic sound, with meaningful lyrics, beautiful melodies, and lush harmonies, has been likened to The Beatles, Neil Young, and more current artists like Ed Sheeran.
The music he plays with his wife, who also has an incredible voice, is a bit more folky these days. I love their sound! Two thumbs up for hearing them live in a small venue and for the magic of The Lost Church.
Below is a shot of them on our TEDxBerkeley stage performing this past February – bravo bravo!
While they play solo quite a bit, they also perform with a band sometimes…..below is a shot of Rob and Pamela with band in tow.