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.