Natti Vogel | Saro

What better way to spend a muggy summer night than to attend an inspiring show at an exclusive venue? I’m talking about Saro, a queer LA-based electronic artist with the voice of an angel. He played a stripped down, raw performance at the intimate members club that is Ludlow House. Unmarked, one could easily pass by the building thinking it was an apartment or hotel even. There was a gentleman speaking into the intercom stating his business, and I followed him in. Once inside, I made my way up to the third floor, where there is a gorgeous fully stocked bar. Of course, I was drawn to get a drink and opted for one of my go-to’s: a Moscow mule. No exaggeration, this was by far the best cocktail I ever had. It was perfectly executed, and I am always a fan of the garnishes. Once I had my drink in hand to help cool down my sweating, I made my way to the floor.

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Saro

There was an artist performing on the stage, which was set close to the floor. The stage was set up to look like the inside of an artist’s apartment, with pictures and paintings hung up on the wallpapered walls. Natti Vogel was performing when I arrived – a giant ball of energy and rawness. He was wearing what appeared to be boxer briefs, a tie-dye shirt, and opted to be shoeless, which I absolutely loved. I had the chance to chat with him briefly after his set while Saro’s performance was being set up, and he was such a warm, inviting individual who took his time to take notice of me. He was amused and skeptical when I told him I’d remember his name without writing it down somewhere. But here we are, and I distinctly remember him spelling his name out for me, “N-A-T-T-I”. Great memory on the kid.

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The lights dimmed, and visuals were put on stage. There was a guitarist in the background beginning to play, and out came Saro, accompanied by a woman and a man, both at his side. In sync, they dropped their heads and arms, to be filled with life and energy once the song begins. Saro has a light, angelic voice and completely floored me at how effortless he sounded. The man and woman started dancing contemporary style to his lyrics, and boy was that powerful. They interacted with each other and Saro, fully encompassing the space. I was right in the front where all the action was, though at times I was a little afraid I was going to get kicked in the head. All in all, it was a captivating performance. Between the dancers killing it emotionally, passionately, and with the fluidity of their movements, to Saro slowing it down to acoustic, emotional versions of his songs like “Rampart.” In celebration of his new EP Die Alone, which was released earlier this month, sultry Saro is an artist I highly recommend you watch live.

 

Nana Grizol at Brooklyn Bazaar

 

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Kim Register of Loamlands

Loamlands, an alt-indie band from Durham, North Carolina opened the show last night at Brooklyn Bazaar. Kym Register, guitar and vocals, swooned the crowd with her velvety smooth yet powerful voice. She sounded like a modern Stevie Nicks. (The band gets compared to Fleetwood Mac all the time.) Register sang with so much power and soul, her songs with themes of being vulnerable, the LGBTQ community, and the general intolerance of being yourself. Register spoke of embracing being sad at the show, for it is very important to feel your feelings wholeheartedly.

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Will Hackney, Loamlands

With elements of country, classic rock, and folk, Loamlands has a unique sound of their own. Will Hackney, lead guitarist and sometimes vocals, played like a guitar god last night. He seamlessly finger-picked his guitar without the use of a pick and the skill level alone was impressive. Sliding to and fro with a slide as well as finger-picking was like hearing an angel play. Loamlands played songs off their 2016 album, Sweet High Rise like “Restless One”, “You the Mountain”, and “What Kind of Love”, a song about being in an abusive relationship and fantasizing about killing the abuser. DSC_0001.JPG

Check out Loamlands album, Sweet High Rise here.

Nana Grizol, originating from Athens, Georgia, is the headliner for this tour with Loamlands. They consist of Theo Hilton, lead vocals and guitar, Matt Cathcart on drums, Jared Gandy on bass, and Robbie Cucchiaro on trumpet, euphonium, and tambourine. Hilton had a powerful voice on him and accompanied with the brass by Cucchiaro, Nana Grizol put on a spectacular show. They played slow, sad songs as well as their upbeat tunes, all brought out more with the brass instruments flowing through each song, adding to the mood.

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Hilton spoke about how the gay community has been so supportive of him, but before that emergence, he grew up in a small town surrounded by straight people. At the show, he spoke of political justice and criticizing political leaders, followed by their popular song, “Mississippi Swells”, a song about oil refineries in the Mississippi watershed. Nana Grizol played songs from all three of their albums, including songs like “Tambourine N’ Thyme”, “Atoms”, “Cynicism”, and “Bright Cloud”. Both bands played an incredible show, and would highly recommend catching them on tour because nothing beats a live set! Get tickets here.

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To view my article on Stars & Scars, with video content, go here!