Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mayer Hawthorne with Gordon Voidwell at The Biltmore

I arrived just as Gordon Voidwell was getting things started. I went in completely blind—I don't think I had even read what type of music he plays. He already had the entire crowd dancing at the front, a surprise for someone that no one in the audience had likely heard of before; they were all here for Mayer Hawthorne. His music was nonstop funky hip-hop with electro beats. The perfect warmup for Mayer Hawthorne.

After Gordon Voidwell, the audience members planted their feet firmly to guard their valuable shoulder-to-shoulder dancing spots in front of the stage. Everyone knew what was coming. Mayer Hawthorne hit the stage with a suave confidence that made us feel like he was playing for all his best friends. After a couple songs, he made a remark about how intimate the show was compared to the big venue last time when he played here in Vancouver with Passion Pit (yes, I was there too), then he proceeded to instruct the audience that now was the time to put away your cameras, and if you're not here to dance, move to the back!

Mayer Hawthorne has a voice that will leave you spellbound, especially once you see him in person. He draws influence from all the great soul singers of the 60s and 70s, but it's all packaged in the slightly perplexing form of green eyes, pale skin, a sharp suit and some dorky Buddy Holly glasses. It's when he opens his mouth, you see that he's got style and he can charm a crowd with little effort. Hawthorne and his band looks like they timewarped here from the 70s to put the realness back into modern soul and funk music.

By the time he reached the last song, he had taught us a new dance and everyone in the room was exhausted. Nevertheless, the crowd gasped and panted for more, coaxing him back to give us a gracious triple encore. You can never have too much Mayer Hawthorne.

Mayer Hawthorne - Your Easy Lovin' Ain't Pleasin' Nothin' (YSI)
Mayer Hawthorne - Held the Hand (Daniel Johnston cover) (YSI)
Gordon Voidwell - Ivy League Circus (YSI)


Post a Comment