Jeff Goldblum addresses the audience at the Strathmore Music Center on May 6, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Wonderfully affable actor Jeff Goldblum could do just about anything and people would undoubtedly find it compelling. As it so happens, Jeff is a lifelong lover of playing piano, and so some years ago, he got together with a very good jazz collective and started performing around Hollywood as Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra.
Said orchestra has now released two studio albums, The Capitol Studios Sessions and I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This, consisting of jazz standards often given fresh arrangements by the band. The act has become a bit more ambitious, as warrants its tremendous talent, and it has hit the road recently with a stop at the Strathmore Music Center.
What do you get when you mix one part brilliant songwriter, one part jaw-dropping voice, and two generous portions of unmatched stage presence? You get the indomitable LP, whose new album, Churches, brings personal and universally relatable songs front and center.
And I have to say, as a fan who has seen this artist perform over the years, their live shows are to die for, so it was tough to see tours get pushed back or canceled during the pandemic. But on Friday, LP was back in DC, and at The Anthem, no less, to bring it all back.
Lydia Night fronts The Regrettes at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on May 3, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
The stage at DC’s Lincoln Theatre suited The Regrettes frontwoman Lydia Night just fine. She bounded across it and made herself at home, jumping up and down in her Converse All Star Chuck Taylors in a blur of guitar-driven motion.
Lydia’s bandmates were equally happy and cozy on stage — if not quite as frenetic — marking an early date on their US tour in support of Further Joy, The Regrettes’ third full-length studio album, released via Warner about a month ago.
Tim Fogarty and Kristian Dunn of El Ten Eleven perform at Union Stage on April 15, 2022. (Photo by Marc Shea)
“We love it when you guys sing along” was the quote of the night from Kristian Dunn, the bassist and one half of the duo El Ten Eleven. That’s typical of the humor the instrumental band displays, not just in their occasional between song banter with the audience, but also within the songs titles like “Adam And Nathan Totally Kick Ass.” And every bit of it was on display at Union Stage recently.
There are people who just seem born with innate talents. Some have a way with public speaking or knowing how to fix things, and others, like Laura Pergolizzi — known professionally as LP — feel destined to create music and, as we discussed in an interview, perform.
Years ago, in another lifetime perhaps, I last had the fortune to see Chan Marshall, known by her performing name, Cat Power, in an early career performance at the Black Cat. And even though 25 years have passed since that time, the magic encased in that voice has only grown stronger — as evidenced in Cat Power’s performance at the Lincoln Theatre in DC Friday night.
Colin Hay performs at Lincoln Theatre on April 2, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Who can it be now? Why, it’s Colin Hay, the bearded Scotsman famed for fronting the band Men at Work. With his signature dry sense of humor, Colin is well recognized when he’s on the stage, as was the case at the Lincoln Theatre in DC recently. But at home in the suburbs of Los Angeles, he’s gained quite a bit of anonymity — a far cry from when he arrived for the first time in New York City for he first time 40 years ago.
Matthew Logan Vasquez leads Delta Spirit in a performance at Ottobar on March 26, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)
Some rock bands deserve an attached forewarning, even if only half-serious, to help illustrate just what it is they’re doing up there on the stage or in the recording studio.
“CAN YOU HANDLE THE SPIRIT?” has probably been used as a T-shirt slogan or a sticker at some point in the past for some act out there, somewhere. But that could be a good question to pose at the door to who hasn’t yet experienced the furious goodtime that is a live Delta Spirit show.
Led by the energetic and wild-eyed Matthew Logan Vasquez and currently based in SoCal, Delta Spirit was just in town back in the fall but announced another local show at Baltimore’s Ottobar not long ago, and the five-piece group took the small stage at the storied Howard Street venue for what would be a fulfilling, exemplar night led by this consistently thrilling band.