Tuesday, August 26, 2008

CityRock Live [Show Recap]

Wow. What a great show last night and a huge turnout on the Universal Citywalk.

It began hot, hot, hot. But as the temps cooled, the stage heated up. Thanks to everyone who made the show happen last night. The folks on CityWalk and 102.7 KIIS-FM are to be applauded for putting on such a grooving event. Special thanks go to all the fans and all of the passersby on CityWalk who gave the band and me such great energy to put on a rollicking show. But the gang I really have to thank are my band: Larry & Bryan. You all have given so much to get the music across in an amazing way... More on that in a moment.

This was one of the larger crowds I've ever played to. There were plenty of people in the courtyard where the stage was set up, and more in the balcony of the food court and the patio of the Hard Rock Cafe (where some folks could enjoy their adult beverages during the set). Our performance was beamed to the Astrovision above the stage, I've seen a few stills, so I got lots of exposure. Looking good 15 feet tall. And the sound was booming. The quieter songs in particular benefited from a wonderful mix.

We kicked off the night with Fall Out, Larry vamping on the beat till the group was ready to blast. That was followed by U Had The $. The audience was down with the funk, for sure. Last night was the first time I had a backing vocalist for a whole show. Jennifer Tafolla did a super job adding the right parts to songs like U Had The $.

Everything My Heart Desires went over very well, as it usually does. And as I mentioned, the quality of the performances and the mix of the ballads made for a dynamic evening. I introduced my songwriting partner Bryan to start Everyone's Ingenue. The fans present and Ms. Tafolla helped sweeten the choruses on that one. Especially at the end of the song with the "I love you, love you, love you's."

We really rocked out I Can't Cry For You and got some of the gang from the studio dancing up front. Then came our first cover: Miss You. This has always been a highlight for me to perform Miss You. But when we got to the breakdown, something magical happened. Bryan channelled Stevie Ray Vaughn and blew us all away with an amazing improvised solo. Get down, Bryan! I was sorry to end the break, but the song had to end. Ha ha. The crowd unfamiliar with my music was with me, but they really got into Miss You and hung out until the end.

Done Lost My Mind became the big sing-a-long that it has in the past. I could hear the girls throwing the lyrics back at me. Nice! Love Someone followed that. We hadn't played Love Someone in months, but we pulled it together, even the four-part harmony at the end. It sure helps to have Larry playing the drums so tastefully and singing, too. Underrated singer, that Larry.

By this point, the audience was ready for A Talent For Loving. Many of the newer fans had checked out the song and the video online. So when we got to the refrain, they were all ready to shout "T.A.L.E.N.T!" Too cool. Bryan, of course, wailed on the solo. I had so much fun singing it, because with Jennifer on-stage, I could concentrate on the lead vox. That was pretty much true of the whole set, however.

We finished up with a number that I dedicated to it's author Isaac Hayes and we tore the roof off the outdoor stage with Hold On, I'm Comin'. Bryan and I clunked guitars at the start of the song and I missed the first line of the song. I had to keep myself from laughing. Last time we played it was in Liverpool at the Cavern Club. Once again, the crowd didn't seem to mind us doing a cover. I heard a couple of people shout out for Isaac, "Isaac, R.I.P.," etc. This was a hip audience.

After the set, my merch girls (Lisa, Stephanie & Megan) did a great job of getting CDs into the hands of the crowd. Signed lots of discs and posters. God has truly blessed me. This is my last show for a while. Don't worry I'll keep busy musically. I want to write some new material. Maybe record. I'm keeping fingers crossed for some song placements in film & TV. The Grammy nomination process has started, so I'm concentrating on that, too. The holidays are looming; I'll be singing at church. So I'm probably off the stage until 2009. Of course, you can always put on your CD of A Talent For Loving and relive the moments!

OK, there are lots and I mean lots of pictures. So this is going to take a few entries to get them posted. But here are the first few. I'll get a flood of them up this evening. And be sure to check myspace, too! Thanks to Patty for the action photos.

Peace & Disco Beats


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