The Chapel is a new venue for us. First impressions were less than stellar – our “e-tickets” were coming up as “invalid” when they were scanned, causing some problems that had to be sorted out by the staff. It turned out to be equipment error on their scanner and it all worked out, but that was a rough start. I will say though, the staff was very nice and polite during the entire thing and very apologetic when they realized it was a problem on their end. So, hats off to the Chapel staff for excellent customer service!
Cloe Wilder was the opening act, however we got a late start and the aforementioned ticket issues, so we missed her set completely…
Dylan Conrique was already on stage when we got in the door. We didn’t have any idea of what to expect, as we were unfamiliar with her work, but suffice it to say, there were no surprises. Her “band” consisted of one guy, alternating between guitar and keyboard, and a laptop. Not exactly exciting to watch. It was the musical equivalent of cotton candy… overly sweet, full of hot air and almost completely without substance. I couldn’t help but think this young lady must have grown up on a steady diet of Disney movies and Arianna Grande… To be fair, she’s really, really young so there is a LOT of room for growth. Her voice is actually nice, but her music is bland and a lot of it WAY TOO DULL for a live setting. She has a lot to learn about pacing her set and song selection. I doubt eliciting yawns and eye rolls was what she was striving for, but that was the reaction of this writer…
Spencer Sutherland came out, and honestly I didn’t know what to make of him from the start. Picture this: sleeveless, yellow satin, bell-bottomed jumpsuit with white fringe! I mean, honestly? I couldn’t tell if he was being “ironic” in the hipster sense, or if that is what the cool “new” thing is. Between the outift and his weird “Kung fu moves”, it was a bit like watching someone imitate Harry Styles, channeling Elvis Presley. Frankly it was a little off-putting and just weird for weird’s sake.
Musically, he sounded good BUT he relied HEAVILY on backing tracks, which is kind of a bummer to me. On the one hand, I get it – touring is very expensive and paying all the expenses for an extra few musicians can make the difference in whether you can go one the road or not. On the other hand, when you’re watching a singer engaging with the audience, his mic is NOWHERE NEAR HIS MOUTH, and yet you’re hearing his voice along with 3-part harmonies(and nobody in the backing band is singing!)…well, that’s a WTF moment for me. And a lot of other music lovers I know. ESPECIALLY in a small venue! You can maybe fake it a little better in the Enormo-Dome, but from 15 feet away, you’re not fooling anybody.
His band was solid, but nothing stands out in their performance. Spencer didn’t engage with them at all during the set, and they didn’t do anything to add to the visual aspect of the show whatsoever. It could’ve been a studio session based on the band’s excitement level.
And again, when you rely on backing tracks extensively the band is LOCKED into a precise tempo and length of the song, so there is no room for improvisation, no letting loose, no “life”… which kinda defeats the purpose of a LIVE show, right?
Did they sound good? Yes. Was he entertaining? Yes, fashion sense aside. But was is a great show? Nah. I’ve seen worse. FAR worse. But I wouldn’t be rushing out to see him again. Which is a shame really, as I do like his music.
To be fair, this was his first tour as a headliner, so he’s still gotta find his feet and I suspect he will continue to get better if he keeps it up.
All in all, it was an OK night. Nothing earth shattering, but nothing horrible either. I’d give the whole shebang a B-.
Thanks for stopping by!