Monday, September 29, 2008

Paint the Town Orange

September 11th, 2008 - The Living Room, NYC - Greg Laswell
Review and Images by Dominick Mastrangelo

If there's a venue that's more suited for a storyteller-like setting than the Living Room in my Manhattan's Lower East Side I've yet to find it. Playing to that cozy scenario was San Diego singer-songwriter Greg Laswell who told (among other things) humorous stories about shaving and MySpace during an hour-long semi-stripped down set.

Moving from guitar to piano and with Brandon Walters on guitar and Chris Kuffner on bass, Laswell opened at the piano with the excellent "What A Day" from his How the Day Sounds EP. Laswell's songs are all about missed connections, getting away and most prominently love lost and the recovery period that follows. He made a joke before playing the single for his new record Three Flights From Alto Nido, "How The Day Sounds" that he can write a happy song. But as his retooled take on the Cyndi Lauper girl-power anthem "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" proved, no song, no matter how uplifting, is safe from becoming a rainy day ballad.

Ingrid Michaelson came up to sing on "Do What I Can" from Laswell's previous record Through Toledo. Laswell closed by himself on the piano playing the heartbreaking "High And Low" saying before "I'm in a much better place than when I wrote this song." His gravelly baritone struggled a bit on the higher notes due to a lingering cold but it added even more emotion as he confessed toward the song's end, " And I do."

For more photos from this concert and all of the others that Dominick has cover please visit his flickr page.

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