ONE GIANT HUG >>>
Coffeehouse audiences aren't known for their exuberance. And coffeehouses aren't typically known as rock venues. At best, the dimly lit textbook folkie with a guitar earns a smattering of applause over the din of cappuccino steam and chatter.
Yet when Kurt Lindsay and Daniel Blue took to their guitars in front of a Metronome Coffee crowd last night, the place was abuzz. People were on their feet applauding and cheering. Each crescendo, highlight and solo was acknowledged with whistles and shouts.
And there was plenty of kissing, too.
Couples must have opted for dessert as the crowd didn't reach near capacity until halfway through Blue's headlining set. And there was a lot of love in the house. Couples held hands. Lindsay acknowledged his admiration for Blue and his talent. Blue dropped love notes several times to the crowd, which, as expected, contained many of his friends from the city he left several years ago.
There was also a lot of chatter, and you could see the disappointment on Blue's face toward the end of his set about this noise. Both singers wailed throughout their sets – although the crowd noise wouldn't have altered those moments.
Lindsay opened the show with his take on Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," leaning toward Jeff Buckley's version. Buckley's influences are evident in Lindsay's music, although Lindsay is definitely an original. The lead singer and guitarist for local band Bodybox performs with passion, displaying emotionally bare songwriting and plenty of charm. Catch Bodybox in April at the Hard Rock Café up north.
There was no skirting around the "homecoming" feel of Blue's appearance. Hugs shared equal time with stage presence. Blue has honed his craft. Gone are the awkward moments between songs. His wit and charisma are razor sharp. And so is his voice - with another nod toward Buckley, in regard to passion and range.
As the music raged forward, from the dark "LA" to "Howdoyoudoit Man" to "Doom," Blue's face changed into his signature stare contortion, his voice screaming, musing, and then roaring into a wall of sound. Through it all, the crowd responded with adoration, happy to indulge even the tales of doomed love and alcoholism.
Blue and his band, Motopony, will hit the road in the coming weeks, with a slew of industry party performances during SXSW in mid-March.