The Vanguard Tries: Satori’s Red Room

Photo and Story By: Stephanie Huynh | Managing Editor |

The Red Room of Satori Coffee House is certainly intimate, but not for the reasons you may be thinking. The Red Room is Satori’s iconic listening space for performers and guests to connect with one another through a shared love of music. On September 30, 2022, the Red Room was open for the first time since it closed due to COVID-19.

Luckily for me and my crew, parking at Satori wasn’t an issue. We had rockstar parking, right in front of the coffee shop—I immediately knew that it was going to be a great night.

Violinist Molly Thomas of Molly Thomas & The Rare Birds and singer/songwriter Rod Picott were the headliners of the night. These two were brought to Satori by our University’s Independent Music Collective. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it in time to see Thomas’ performance, but I was able to see Picott’s entire set.

As newcomers to the world of listening rooms, my friends and I were told that it’s customary to refrain from talking during songs so as to not interfere with recording. For this same reason, we were told to keep talking and movement (including leaving the room) to a minimum and between songs. Phone use was highly discouraged. This was all to be considerate towards other listeners and to the performer.

The listening room at Satori made me feel very warm and safe. My friends describe me as someone who’ll fall asleep if the vibes are too good, so it’s a compliment to Satori and Picott for creating such an inviting atmosphere.

Some of the songs Picott played included “65 Falcon,” “Welding Burns,” and “Rust Belt Fields.” These folk tunes explored many different life events that listeners are able to relate to, including traveling and joblessness. At one point, Picott joked with the crowd saying, “This is a press conference now, huh,” after one guest started a full conversation with him while he was still on stage.

Overall, the listening room was a great space to decompress on a Friday night with affordable live music and like-minded peers who can appreciate a good tune. That evening, USA students received free admission with our Jag IDs and other guests had to pay $5 for admission.

Music from both Molly Thomas & The Rare Birds and Rod Picott can be streamed on various online platforms, including Spotify, Youtube, and Apple Music. The next event in Satori Coffee House will be their Punk Night this Friday, October 15, featuring SPLITT, The Glutton, and PRIMPCE. For this event, admission is free to everyone.

I’d highly recommend going to Satori’s Red Room in the future, and be sure to bring your friends to enjoy yet another perk of being a student at South!