Chances are that if you have ever attended a concert at SOhO, you’ve enjoyed the sound-mixing artistry of Alan Brown. A wizard behind the boards, Brown has helped thousands of musicians, from the world-famous to the unknown, to realize their goals and reach their potential in a live setting. Known far and wide for his sensitive, intuitive mixes and the extravagant costumes he devises each year for his pilgrimage to the Burning Man festival, Brown has held down the board at SOhO for two decades. Although his final work night was New Year’s Eve, the crew at SOhO have called Brown back for a retirement party on Saturday, January 27, at 6 p.m. The invitation promises face painting, fire spinning, and playa dust, and suggests that guests come attired in their best moon boots, top hats, tutus, goggles, glitter, and glow sticks.
When I spoke with Brown last week by phone, he was at home connecting a mixing board to his computer. Asked about his most memorable moments at SOhO, he was quick to answer that there was one thing that always made his night. “Any time I worked with someone who had never played their music through an actual sound system before, that was always special,” he said. “I loved being part of a defining moment for them. Getting up on a real stage and hearing what they could do in that setting for the first time was consistently a thrill. People would come off after their set saying, ‘I can sound like that! How great!’”