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Eerie ‘Stranger Things’ synths will drop into this SF venue

The Demogorgon from "Stranger Things" performs during the Milan Games Week Cartoomics in Milan Italy, on Nov. 26, 2022. | Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images

Come summertime, the Central Waterfront will become a portal to the Upside Down. The composers behind the synth-drenched soundtrack to the Netflix phenomenon Stranger Things will descend on the Midway on June 4.

Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein—who together comprise one half of the Austin-based electronic group Survive (stylized as S U R V I V E)—composed the atmospheric synth-scape that sets the sinister tone of the show, from its ominous intro titles to the battles under Starcourt Mall. The duo’s original score earned them a Primetime Emmy Award and two Grammy nominations in 2017

According to a press release by event organizer Mercury Soul, Dixon and Stein will weave together a blanket of sound using an elaborate setup of analogue synthesizers, as well as a pipe organ that will reverberate through the warehouse during an opening set of classical selections by Bach and Messiaen. 

The Netflix series has left an indelible mark on its Millennial and Gen Z fanbase, who discovered Kate Bush’s soul-stirring 1985 single “Running up That Hill” anew—along with deeper cuts like Jamaican British reggae crew Musical Youth’s 1982 banger “Pass the Dutchie”—when Season 4 hit the ’flix last May. 

Still, Dixon and Stein’s original compositions anchor the evocative 1980s pastiche, with an entrancing, at times menacing soundtrack that references mainstream touchstones like E.T. and The Goonies and cult classics John Carpenter’s The Thing.

San Francisco is no stranger to Stranger Things-related spectacles. Last summer, fans flocked to the Armory for a Netflix-produced immersive experience. With any luck, there could be more than a few ride-or-die cosplayers dressed in their science-fiction finest in the audience at the Midway, along with maybe a Demogorgon or two. 

Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein Performing the Music of Stranger Things

🗓️ June 4 | 5 p.m.
📍 The Midway | 900 Marin St.
🎟️ $35-$75