Hi-Fi Bar, Brisbane
Friday September 19, 2014
From busking in the streets in Los Angeles begging to be heard onto to the world stage, Andy Grammer has come a long way in recent years. Playing at the Hi-Fi bar in Brisbane Friday September 19, Grammer debuted his latest album for his first ever visit to Australian shores. Opening for American Authors, Grammar was impressive and had the audience captivated during his acoustic set.
With model good looks and a boyish charm, Grammer had the crowd warming up and dancing along to his feel-good rhythms. Playing songs from his self-titled debut album and new release, Magazines or Novels, Grammer comes across as a well rounded nice guy with a simply great voice and feel good vibe.
Opening the set with ‘Keep Your Head Up’, Grammar set the playful tone of the show, one of soul and vigour. With his background as a seasoned Santa Monica street performer, his act easily translating onto a larger stage. Requesting the crowd “Right if you know this, rock out to the most chilled version of this -this crowd is 18+ right?” he launches into an acoustic version of ‘Thrift shop’. Demanding a little fun crowd participation, Grammar slows the song right down and has some fun with it. ‘Forever’, a tongue-in-cheek number, had the crowd singing along to a melody about the age old problem of waiting forever for someone to get ready.
Half way through the set Grammer covers the popular ‘Chasing Cars’, giving it his own twist. At times using his voice as a percussion instrument, Grammer breathes new life into a classic hit, making it his own. Allowing the crowd to sing parts of the song, Grammer takes this song to a new level; the soul and passion he delivers on stage making an already great song brilliant.
For the remainder of the set, Andy Grammer never waivers in his vigour, playfulness and spirit. He has energy to spare and he is here to share it with whomever is willing to listen. He introduces his music to a willing crowd and had the room dancing. Closing with smash hit ‘Back Home’, Grammer leaves the room warmed up, feeling good and more than just a little impressed. Let’s hope Grammer returns to our shores soon.
American Authors have seen a meteoric rise to fame in recent times with the runaway success of their smash hit ‘The Best Day Of My Life’ being featured in advertising campaigns across the globe.
Hailing from Brooklyn, the four piece band are on their first Australian tour, playing to an intimate yet dedicated crowd of followers on Friday, September 19 at Brisbane’s Hi Fi Bar. Front man Zac Barnett whips the crowd into a frenzy with plenty of fist-pumping anthems from their debut album, Oh, What a Life. Band members Dave Rublin, James Adam Shelley and Matt Sanchez are the four best friends here to deliver their American songbook for dedicated Australian fans.
Opening the show with a drum solo to introduce ‘Think About It’, Barnett has the crowd clapping and dancing along before the chorus takes off. Barnett commands the stage and demands the full attention of his fans, highly energetic and spirited. He uses every part of the stage, and when the song needs it he’s there on the drums belting out a solo.
Whilst being up beat and fun, many of the songs have strong under lying meanings, with ‘Luck’ sounding like a part apology, part explanation for Barnett’s departure from his home town and foray into the music world. The new single ‘Believer’ is an inspiring melody of hoping that life can always get better. Each song gets you hooked with big guitar licks and powerful drums that get the crowd moving and shaking to each hit. But if you aren’t dancing then you aren’t here having fun and American Authors are all about having fun.
Playing hit after hit from the album, Barnett keeps up momentum for the entire show, never wavering with his energy. His band are there every step of the way. For a moment they slow it down to introduce the only love song from the album ‘Trouble’ that laments the growing apart of a relationship with it’s sweet introduction, before launching into a full rendition of the song.
Saving the best for last, the band have every hand clapping to the smash hit ‘Best Day Of My Life’ and the room is bouncing. Barnett gets right down amongst the crowd and into the pit to deliver this feel good anthem. If you aren’t up and dancing by now then surely you don’t have a pulse.
American Authors delivered a song book fresh from the streets of New York, brought it all the way to Brisbane and left the crowd in hope that this band are only going to get bigger and better. Watch out for American Authors, they are here to stay.
Reviewer and Photographer: Amanda Starkey