Jack Davey, Brook D’Leau and their band more than live up to the hype.

I admit my skepticism going in.  I’d heard all the hype: Y’know, people losing their minds and saying J*Davey was the bom-diggy.  And based on this, I’d downloaded their double CD from iTunes, The Beauty in Distortion/The Land of the Lost.  It’s cool, but I’m not immediately moved.  And I’m trying to stay open.

But let me tell you: When a group crushes it, you know it.  There were no non-believers after that show, me included.  In fact–and their respective management teams ought to take note–the killer, I mean KILLER, bill would be J*Davey and Janelle Monae.  (Yes, our Angeleno brethren were this good).  That’s the tour.  The reality is that their album schedules might not sync: I believe Janelle has something dropping in the fall, and J*Davey’s official Warner Bros. album will be early 2009.  But they both have new, indie product out now, so it’s feasible.

Highlights of the set includes a hot arrangement of one of my album favorites thusfar, "No More" and "Mr. Mister", where they brought a bunch of people onstage to dance with them (see the photos).  The energy was through the roof and the crowd was more than pleased.

Glad I also got a second look at Bazaar Royale.  What’s clear is that he’s got great material, a point of view and a strong voice.  And I was really pleased that I recognized members of his band that included Fro on guitar and Malik from Game Rebellion on bass.  Drummer T-Bone, I learned later, plays a lot with Raye 6.  They put fire up under him.  But there was something that didn’t quite carry the ball across the goal line for me.  I can’t quite put my finger on it.  Maybe it was the fashion statement he was making, the image he wanted to present: The cufflinks, the shirt and tie, the Che Guevara brand jacket and slacks.  He definitely rocked it.  And I know from talking to him that he’s playing against type for what a Black rocker can look like.  But maybe this outfit constrained him, ’cause I feel like there was this caged energy inside him that didn’t get out.  So, he’s got to find that balance.  Criticism aside, Bazaar Royale has the ingredients–charisma and talent–to be a star.  I expect to see him let it all out next time and match the humanity and energy and of the music he’s creating.

Overall, a good night of music.  Well worth not getting home til 3AM.

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