When I asked for volunteers to go see Landon Pigg and write up a review, New York City again jumped to the forefront. Here is a review from O. Remember, Tina Dico is still available so go back and look at the cities I posted and see if you would be interested.
Landon Pigg @ Living Room
NYC May 6th
Review By O
Last night, I was treated to a show at the Living Room; a bar/concert venue in Manhattan’s lower east side. The performer was Landon Pigg and the show was good. You don’t have to know music to recognize he is charming and has a great deal of talent. I won’t run out and buy anything by him soon, but down the road he seems fully capable of writing a REALLY great song. If that happens, and I wouldn’t be surprised, I’ll be able to say ‘I saw him back in the day’
For those not familiar with it, this area is mostly tenement housing stock which is going through a rapid and near complete gentrification. The new(er) residents are mostly young and very hip. It was a beautiful night, which allowed the club to open its bay windows to the street; combined with the narrow street effectively creating a mixed indoor/outdoor (smoking) extravaganza.
The opening act was a young singer/songwriter named Dana Parish. Yes has a pleasant voice and an relaxed stage presence. She performed a short set, accompanied by a piano player and a female background singer. For one song, this was augmented by a songwriter/guitarist. She sounded fine, but the songs were not strong enough to make a lasting impression on me. One of the great things about people at the early stages of their career is the ability to interact with them in an unpretentious way. I got her to pose at the bar ?.
Landon Pigg was the headliner and the reason the place was standing room only. He has a couple of noteworthy tunes in the public eye. “Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop” was featured on an A Diamond Is Forever commercial. Another song comes preloaded on Microsoft’s Zune player. And he’s had tunes on Grey’s Anatomy and ‘Brothers and Sisters’. In the new world of new media, he seems to be firing on all cylinders.
He was accompanied by a keyboard player, Peter, who also provided backing vocals on some tunes.
Landon was also joined by The Pierces, (Catherine and Allison), on a cover of the Beatles tune ‘Girl’. The Pierces have performed on Gossip Girl.
Landon is young and has talent. He has strong melodic sense and has written several hummable tunes. Lyrically, the tunes are not very sophisticated and lack real emotional complexity and imagery. But looking around the room, the predominately female/20s audience is his target and they were loving it.
His stage patter increased as the set went along and I enjoyed his amiable boyish charm. The Living Room is an awesome place to showcase singer/songwriters; it seats around 100. Landon was in good voice and the duet was balanced and almost glitch-free.
His original tunes varied in structure and tempo. I liked them all. The well know tunes were polished, but so others were received equally well. “Magnetism’ moved the crowd. Another tune, which I cannot recall the name of, started with Landon singing just accompanied by organ. It was this tune where we showed a kernel of what could be a great career. Real emotional content, a strong sense of dynamics and real stage presence.
Besides the Rubber Soul cover, he also performed the standard ‘Young At Heart’; you know: ‘Fairy tales can come true..’. I am not a fan of covers that are not totally reworked, but most of the audience seemed to like them fine. Many didn’t even know the Beatles tune – which makes me feel a little older.
NY has a ferocious amount of competition music-wise. Lots of venues, and plenty of real talent willing to pay-for-play, or play for free, or busk in the subways. If I was younger, Landon is the kind of songwriter you could grow up with. As you both became more mature and sophisticated the relationship would grow deeper. Alas I am (a little) older. For stage patter I’ll take Elvis Costello. To rework a tune I vote Joe Jackson. To have communion with a crowd: Ani DiFranco. But for a Tuesday night in NYC, Landon packed the house and delivered what the crowd wanted. At the end of the day, he entertained and that is what it’s all about in the end.