Metro Weekly

Spotlight: SONiA disappear fear’s Virtual Tour

The singer-songwriter offers her DiGiTAL ACTS OF KiNDNESS concerts on Facebook Live

sonia disappear fear, tour, facebook, concert, music
SONiA: Disappear Fear — Photo: Lea Morales

Sonia Rutstein is feeling the love. On Facebook Live, her “DiGiTAL ACTS OF KiNDNESS” appearances result in a “constant stream” of heart emojis from fans.

“I get a few during a song that bubble up, but when a song’s over, I get a ton,” she says.

This spring, the Baltimore-based singer-songwriter, who records and performs as SONiA disappear fear, was supposed to be on her annual concert trek through Germany.

Instead, homebound for what she refers to as COVID-19’s “induced Shabbat for X amount of weeks and months,” the singer has entered the brave new world of livestreaming.

While many of the physical appearances in Germany are being rescheduled for later this year or early 2021, all the virtual concerts are being performed on their original dates, most organized to celebrate a different album from SONiA’s thirty year-plus recording career.

“At each concert, I’m doing about eight songs total, with at least three or four songs from a particular album,” she says of the roughly hour-long shows from her home music room.

Produced on Facebook, with the help of her wife and manager, Terry Irons, the first few shows have attracted over 10,000 viewers — with “the numbers just tripling each time.”

The concerts are free, though donations through PayPal are accepted. There’s also a number of newly designed t-shirts, stickers, and other memorabilia available for purchase, along with music recordings and downloads.

“People have been buying merchandise,” she says, “and that feels like a good exchange for me, because then fans get something.”

SONiA: Disappear Fear — Photo: Lea Morales

The virtual concerts also offer chances for the world-touring musician’s far-flung fans to reconnect with one another — years after they might have met and hung out at a past concert.

Calling this “the most distracting, difficult part” of the whole experience, SONiA smiles as she explains the situation. “I can really [only] read their comments when I’m talking, I can’t do it so much when I’m singing because I have to focus. It’s a good problem, so I’ll take it.”

Highlights from upcoming DiGiTAL ACTS OF KiNDNESS concerts include a celebration of SONiA’s first solo album, 1997’s Almost Chocolate, on Friday, April 17; a toast to 2004’s No Bomb Is Smart on Thursday, April 23; an all-requests concert on Thursday, May 14; and a look at Small House No Secrets, SONiA’s new musical co-developed with playwright Jody Nusholtz, on Sunday, May 17. All are livestreamed at 2 p.m. EST and available afterwards at www.facebook.com/disappear.fear.

Posted by SONiA disappear fear on Sunday, April 5, 2020

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