British singer/songwriter Dan Croll demonstrated a canny knack for translating studio techniques into an arresting live performance when made a stop in DC on Friday at the Rock and Roll Hotel.
The 27-year-old singer, accompanied by his band referred to as his “guys,” played songs from his two full-length albums, with the most recent, “Emerging Adulthood,” released in July through Communion Group.
Dan’s music is a sort of ’80s/’90s pop-rock sound that requires a lot of precision to perform live. The mix of the guitar, electronic sounds, and vocals make for a type of music that oftentimes is best heard in studio recordings. But I was impressed by how well the songs translated to a live stage. At the beginning, it seemed that the audio levels were off but credit to the sound crew because they fixed that and by the end of the night Dan and “the boys” sounded great.
I have found that there are different types of performers when it comes to musicians, especially frontmen. Some have an act; some really don’t say much while playing their music; others seem to be acting the way they would if you ran into them on the street. And then there are mixes of all three. Dan is definitely the type that seems on stage to be the person he would be if you met him anywhere else. He genuinely seemed humbled by the crowd’s appreciation for his music — and he really didn’t have a lot to say besides periodically thanking the crowd.
The musical side of things seemed very “by the book” but that did not take away from the show. Some bands improvise throughout their performances, whereas Dan and his band seemed to play the songs all the way through as you would hear them on the album.
There gathered crowd was not huge for a Friday night, but then Dan is a new name to many. That being said, I think the size of the crowd was about what you would expect at one of his shows. They moved to the music and showed their appreciation after the completion of each song. You could really notice a sense of pride that Dan has in his music and I think that added something to the feeling of the room. What strikes me the most about Dan is his song-writing ability. It is clear that he puts his emotion, feelings, energy, and passion into his music and that’s what makes it enjoyable. One of the biggest things I judge bands on when I write these reviews is whether or not I will continue to listen to them after seeing them. I know that Dan Croll is someone I will continue listening to and I look forward to seeing where his career takes him.
Check out some of his music below on YouTube, and keep an eye open for when he might be in your area. For less than 20 bucks, it’s hard to go wrong with a show like this.
“Home” by Dan Croll:
“Compliment Your Soul” by Dan Croll:
“Away from Today” by Dan Croll: