Getting ready in a hotel room before going out to see live music is nothing new. Watching a hotel room going all out to host live music is a bit of a rarity.
But there I sat, on a seat in room 913 at Aloft Hotel in the Seaport, one of Boston’s newest hotels, with four other people waiting for a special live performance on a cold winter night. The crew set up lights, microphones, and cameras for Aloft’s first-ever in-room live concert, an intimate affair (if there ever was one), with Boston singer-songwriter Will Dailey.
Dailey was on tour, throughout the night, though on this night (February 2), he’d never leave Aloft. As the lights dimmed and the mini-stage strobes beamed out their purple and blue hues, Dailey and cohorts Dan Brophy and Kimon Kirk launched right into National Throat leadoff track “Sunken Ship” and Boston shout-out tune “Why Do I”, as Dailey and his trio performed with the glistening Hub skyline shining brightly in the windows behind them.
The night’s festivities truly clipped the tour experience in to a small contained microcosm of performances. Dailey and his bandmates paraded from room-to-room in a de facto jaunt throughout the pristine, brand-spanking-new Seaport edifice.
“Nothing in my career has really been normal,” he said. “We like to do weird, cool things. Some of the best opportunities have come from weird, unexpected places for us.”
Room 913 was probably one of the more subdued on the night’s slate, but other rooms totally got into the spirit of the night’s tour. The ebb and flow from room to room mirrored that of being on tour. Some nights the crowd is really fired up and ready to rock, and others, the crowd is less enthusiastic.
“Oddly, the rooms went from wild, like a Friday night show, to reserved, like a Tuesday night, and back again,” Dailey said. “Each room had its own vibe. I guess I wasn’t ready for that. Seem so obvious now and I felt the same equal parts tired and exhilarated at the end of the night as I do after a week on the road.”
Of the entire experience, Dailey summed it up best as “weird and different”.
Of course, this is all by design. The new Aloft hotel, located on D Street, is looking to be the place where you can find the next up-and-coming Boston musician. On Thursday nights, the hotels WXYZ Lounge will transform the modern-looking lobby into a performance space for Live in the Loft, a running local music showcase series.
“We want you to be able to find the next Will Dailey,” said Michael Jorgenson, the Aloft’s general manager. “Everything about us is local, even to the point that most of our staff is from South Boston.”
Local art is the name of the game for the new Aloft hotel, Jorgenson hopes. Already, the art on the walls in the chic-looking lobby has been created by local artists looking to make their mark and much of the slate for the Thursday night series will hopefully draw from local scenes, specifically Berklee College of Music’s deep roster of musicians.
For Dailey, the tour continues, but it’ll be breaking free from the Aloft rooms; he’ll be performing at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum on February 25 with Kara Hesse.
Check out some scenes from Dailey’s Aloft tour via our slider below, and follow Greg Cameron on Twitter @Greg_Cameron.