Sunday was another double-header kind of night for me when it came to concerts. I had two completely different shows in two completely different settings and it made for a truly exciting and perfect way to end an already busy weekend and prep me for what is sure to be a hell of a week.
My first show of the night sent me to Crooners Supper Club. Yes, that is correct- I went to a supper club styled show. I’ve been to Crooners multiple times and although I love the place, I always feel just a wee bit out of place. That’s on me. I know. Maybe showing up in ripped jeans and shirts from bands like The Circle Jerks or Alkaline Trio isn’t the best idea when attending shows at this upscale venue but, at the same time, I love experiencing this completely different world while staying true to myself. I didn’t get the same slightly-uncomfortable feeling as I walked it on Sunday night but that was due to a couple of things. First, my best friend’s husband (who is also the sound guy at this venue) had warned the hostess that, “If someone comes in and they look like they belong more at the CC Club (a local dive bar), she’s with me.” On top of that, I walked in and instantly saw the reason I was at this show– A good friend from college that I don’t get to see enough.
Elyse Jones is a powerhouse of a vocalist. There’s no other way to put it. We both went to the same music college and although we were in completely different programs, somehow forged a friendship that, even though scattered as far as when we actually get to see each other, has stayed strong. Elyse is a bubbly spitfire with the cutest pink-dyed pixie haircut and a sense of delicacy to her entire being. She just screams performer and as we sat and talked I couldn’t help but get this sense of “proud mama” in a way. It’s just so cool to see a friend truly make it and be doing exactly what they were meant to do and, in the case of Elyse, being on stage is exactly where she was destined to be.
Does Elyse’s name sound familiar? Maybe that’s because I covered her album release show at The Icehouse back in September of last year (you can read that article HERE!). That was a bit more of a rockin’ kind of set than what I got on Sunday night but the overall vibe of her performance stayed the same which was a truly impressive thing to experience.
Although I was clearly excited to see my old friend, Elyse wasn’t the only one who took the stage for the mid-afternoon show. She was joined on stage by piano-virtuoso Ryan Bynum and percussionist Daryl Boudreaux. As soon as the trio all took their respective spots on the small stage and jumped into their first song, they had the entire room captivated– and for good reason. From Elyse’s flawless vocals to Ryan’s jaw-dropping piano skills and Daryl’s creativity on the cajón (a box-shaped percussion instrument) and other various percussion instruments, there were a million things to watch and a million notes to hear.
Being a piano played, my eyes were instantly glued to Ryan Bynum’s hands. This man is truly a genius when it comes to his piano playing. His fingers look as if they are barely touching the keys when he is playing and you can literally see the passion in his eyes as he plays through songs. I could clearly tell that he was a classically trained pianist from the second he started playing but loved how he hasn’t kept himself in that box. His playing ranged from classical to jazz and all the way to something a bit more pop and contemporary. As a pianist who hasn’t spent enough time with her piano lately, watching Ryan perform absolutely sparked something inside of me which has led to my weekly resolution being to spend some time on my piano every day this week.
Although I was absolutely captivated by Ryan’s playing (and his silky smooth vocals but I don’t want to keep you here all day while I gush over Ryan’s performance), there was no ignoring Daryl on percussion. Daryl kept everything together with a super scaled back set-up. He never overpowered the other two performers yet always made himself known in a perfect way. His playing was great but it was his smile that really caught my eye about him. He was clearly having a great time just jamming and hanging out on stage. I mean, obviously he was doing more than that, but he had such a relaxed approach to his playing and I felt like it really added to the organic feeling I was already getting from Ryan and Elyse.
And now we’ve made it to Elyse– sweet, sweet Elyse. Obviously, I’m a little biased here but, really, Elyse has a hell of a voice. From a jazzy alto range to a falsetto that would make even Mariah Carey jealous, the range of this woman is absolutely insane and seeing how easily she can straddle that range is absolutely stunning. My favorite thing about watching Elyse perform is how you can see her literally feel every single word she is singing. Whether it’s through her hand movement or through the way she changes her stance to hit certain notes, there are subtle things she does that just shows you how much she cares about the product leading to a very endearing and captivating performance.
Ryan explained that Sunday night’s whole show was a bit of a mistake. He had self-admittedly forgotten about the show as he has been lately and had booked this one as a bit of a “back-up” for an event that he had last month (it’s a really long story) but if Sunday night’s show was really a bit of a mistake, it was the happiest fluke I have ever experienced. Everything about the night was fresh and organic making for a perfect way to kick off what was going to be a long night of live music.
Venue: Crooners Supper Club
Smell-O-Meter: The delicious food of Crooners
Average Age of the Crowd: 63
Crowd Surfers- None
Stage Divers- 0
Mosh-ability- 0 out of 10
Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- $0
Broken Bones- None
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing
Fights- None Witnessed
Passed Out Kids- 0
Idiots Taken Out By Security – 0
How Irritated I Was With The Audience – 0 out of 10
How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-
Ryan Bynum– 0
Elyse Jones– 1
Daryl Boudreaux- 0
Celebrity Sightings – None
Overall Score – 8 out of 10
Show on Deck — Finesse / XOXOTECH / Mr. Submissive / Gwen
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