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Sound of Music
These guys are about to play cacti.
Stefan Cohen

Picture this: You’re lounging on a leather banquette with friends, a gin-and-prickly-pear cocktail in hand. The lights are dim, and you’re listening to an edgy musical composition timed to a conceptual video reel playing in the background. Would you ever guess that you’re backstage at the San Francisco Symphony?

This is SoundBox, a new experimental live-music venue at Davies Symphony Hall that’s aimed at a younger set of culture chameleons.

On opening night (December 13), symphony director Michael Tilson Thomas will serve up a musical tasting menu. Think everything from medieval Gregorian chants to artist-composer John Cage’s “Branches,” in which musicians play cacti and other plant-based instruments.

Musicians will move across multiple stages, projections and video installations will reign supreme and a post-show DJ set will act as a forum for analytical chatter (and dancing, of course).

While the December 13 show is already sold out, there will be five more chances to take part in 2015. Consider this your advance notice to keep an eye out for tickets.

SoundBox, 300 Franklin St.; 415-503-5299 or

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