Review: Erik Hassle live at Pianos NYC

Posted by The G on March 24, 2015 under G Reviews | 2 Comments to Read

Photos and words by G.

Erik Hassle

Erik Hassle

On March 23, 2015, Sweden’s Erik Hassle played a sold-out show at Pianos in New York.  The show was announced at the last minute, making it even more impressive that fans packed the house for the criminally underrated pop/soul singer.  Erik Hassle is currently supporting New Zealand’s Broods (see video I shot at one of their first ever US shows here) and decided to book a solo gig where he showcased several new songs in front of an adoring crowd, which also included his parents and many of his friends from Sweden.  Erik Hassle has a hell of a voice, very soulful and his dance moves on stage will make you fall in love with him.

I would normally be posting a video I took at the show, but sadly the Youtube police are after me at the moment for copyright infringement – despite the fact that I don’t make a penny from my Youtube account AND I post concert videos with the intention of turning my readers onto music they probably would not be exposed to without my site.   Thanks for sticking up for me (and all the others that are in a similar position) bands, managers, etc – NOT!  Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?!

Erik Hassle - Pianos

Erik Hassle – Pianos

So in the absence of a live version of “Innocence Lost,” which I would have loved to have posted, you should definitely check out that song.  It’s amazing!  If you want to see the video, you can come over to my place.  Ha!  As an alternate plan, for my international readers, you can see a little clip of “Fuck The Pain Away” on my Instagram account.   In addition, you can hear samples of many Erik Hassle tracks on his official website (link will open in a new window).  Before his final song of the night “No Words,” Erik mentioned that the song will be available as a single in the next few weeks, so be on the look out for that song.  It was great!  Follow him on his Soundcloud page for updates.

Erik Hassle is supporting Broods on the following dates, so make sure you don’t miss his set (because it will likely be as good if not better than the main act).

03/25 – Irving Plaza – New York, NY
03/26 – Trocadero Theater – Philadelphia, PA
03/27 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC
03/28 – Visulite Theatre – Charlotte, NC
03/29 – Masquerade (Hell Stage) – Atlanta, GA
03/31 – Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX
04/01 – Trees – Dallas, TX
04/02 – Emo’s – Austin, TX

Erik Hassle Pianos Setlist

Erik Hassle Pianos Setlist

Thanks for a great show Erik.  Can’t wait to see you again!

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Review: Sam Smith Live at the Apollo + “Nirvana” Live

Posted by The G on June 18, 2014 under Encounters with G, G Reviews, G Videos | Be the First to Comment

Photos, video and words by G.

Sam Smith

Sam Smith

I am so proud of Sam Smith!  In August of 2013, he was playing to 250 people at Mercury Lounge and less than one year later, he headlined the legendary Apollo Theater!  The very sold out show took place in Harlem on June 17, 2014.  The blue-eyed soul singer is 21 years old and in this important year of his life, he’s traveled around the world and back, had a few club hits by lending his voice to songs by dance duo Disclosure, was outed by the media after he matter-of-factly mentioned that the songs on his album were about a guy that didn’t love him back (how come the media doesn’t make straight people do this?), and of course on June 17, 2014 his debut album “In The Lonely Hour,” was released officially in the USA and will be battling with Lana Del Rey for the #1 spot this week.

During the show, Sam Smith thanked the crowd multiple times and mentioned how mind blowing it was to share the same stage that so many of his heroes (including Luther Vandross and Michael Jackson) have performed on.  He told the stories of the songs before they were played with his tight band (that featured 3 backing singers and a string section), and he played nearly every track from “In The Lonely Hour” whilst also throwing in “La La La,” a stripped down version of “Latch,” “Nirvana” from the EP with the same name (and below, you can see a video of it) and for the final song of the night “Stay With Me,” Sam Smith brought out Mary J. Blige to perform the song as a duet, which of course was the perfect cherry on top to a fantastic evening.  Apparently the show was being recorded, so let’s hope for a DVD or live album because the show was EXCELLENT!

Mary J Blige and Sam Smith

Mary J Blige and Sam Smith

I wish Sam Smith tremendous success and I have no doubt that he will be a name you won’t be forgetting.  And now… let Sam Smith take you to Nirvana!

The setlist was:

Intro / Nirvana / Together / Leave Your Lover / I’m Not the Only One / I Told You Now / Like I Can / Restart / Good Thing – Berlin / La La La / Lay Me Down / Money On My Mind

Encore:

Latch / Make it To Me / Stay With Me (with Mary J. Blige).

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Separated at Birth? Erik Hassle and Daley

Posted by The G on June 2, 2014 under Encounters with G | Be the First to Comment

Photos by G.

Erik Hassle and Geoffrey Dicker

Erik Hassle and Geoffrey Dicker

Separated at birth – Erik Hassle and Daley?  Not really!  These two singers have extremely curly hair and are both tremendously talented (and were both nice to me), so that might be what they really have in common. But if you are unfamiliar with either Sweden’s Erik Hassle or Britain’s Gareth Daley (who professionally just uses his last name), you should fix that right now.  Both Erik Hassle and Daley are super soulful and I like them both a lot.

Here’s links to their official websites you can get an education in all that is Erik Hassle and Daley (links will open in a new window).

Daley and Geoffrey Dicker

Daley and Geoffrey Dicker

I wish both Erik Hassle and Daley much success!  Good luck guys, hope to see you both again really soon.

Review: A Conversation with D’Angelo at Brooklyn Museum

Posted by The G on May 22, 2014 under Encounters with G, G Reviews | Read the First Comment

Photos by G.

D'Angelo

D’Angelo

One of the most reclusive figures in music came out of hiding last night on May 21, 2014 as the Red Bull Music Academy hosted “A Conversation with D’Angelo” at the Brooklyn Museum.  The auditorium was packed with fans, like me all who thought we’d finally get some of our questions answered – namely “WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN FOR THE LAST 14 YEARS?!”

Nelson George and D'Angelo

Nelson George and D’Angelo

Music critic Nelson George moderated the conversation and it was super fascinating, even though extremely light on subjects such as the two solo albums D’Angelo has released over the last 20 years, 1995’s “Brown Sugar” (which was mentioned very briefly) and 2000’s “Voodoo” (which was discussed for much less time than D’Angelo’s first band – I.D.U. which stands for Intelligent, Deadly, Unique).  Name-checked during the conversation were Jesse Johnson, Alan Leeds, Prince and Questlove (who came up to the stage twice to help fill in D’Angelo’s stories).  It was also amusing that D’Angelo smoked cigarettes on stage inside the auditorium of a museum!  This is the second time I’ve seen someone smoke cigarettes near art (the first being Courtney Love).

D'Angelo and Questlove

D’Angelo and Questlove

The most fascinating fact of the night had nothing to do with D’Angelo’s music and instead it was about Sly Stone (of Sly and The Family Stone).  D’Angelo mentioned that he’s met with Sly and Sly’s played him some of the “vast amounts” of unreleased music that he’s consistently recorded over the years including Sly’s experimentation with Auto-Tune, but D’Angelo said that he takes the vocal enhancer to a whole new level of weirdness – and could we expect any less from Sly?  Will those Sly songs ever see the light of day?  We have no idea.  Will any new studio material from D’Angelo ever see the light of day?  We have no idea.  Though I thoroughly enjoyed watching the talk, I learned less about D’Angelo than is on his Wikipedia page, which was not just disappointing, but it left me scratching my head wondering why “the elephant in the room” (aka “why has there been no new music in 14 years aside from a surprise concert here and there over the years”) was not the focal point of this discussion.

Until there is new music, at least the world has the classic “Voodoo” and “Brown Sugar” albums to help us groove and make babies to.  Any time you want to release music, the world is ready, willing and waiting!

Apparently the conversation was streamed live over the internet and I am not sure if it will be archived for later viewing, so check Google.

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An Encounter with Johnny Hallyday

Posted by The G on May 8, 2014 under Encounters with G | Be the First to Comment

Photo by G.

Johnny Hallyday and Geoffrey Dicker

Johnny Hallyday and Geoffrey Dicker

American readers are probably looking at the headline and photo and saying “who is that?”  Let me take you to school for a second.  Singer Johnny Hallyday has enjoyed a 40+ career in show business and is best known in his home country as “The French Elvis.”  If you’ve never heard his music, I recommend that you remedy that immediately, especially if you love rock and roll.  Johnny Hallyday performed a rare New York concert the other night and I met the legendary singer who gladly took a photo and signed my cd.  Thanks Johnny!  Or as they say in French, “Merci!”

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