Saturday, May 4, 2019

Holland Greco at One Colorado, 5-3-19 Concert Review

Holland Greco performing "Lovestruck"
Holland Greco’s concert at One Colorado in Pasadena yesterday was something special. It was her first time playing at that venue, a pretty courtyard with trees and small tables. And the band backing her was different from what we’d been seeing lately at the Holland & Clark shows. Allison Piccioni was on keys and Caitlin Moss on drums, as at the Mayfair Hotel show last November, but joining her for the first time was Mike Clairmont on both bass and Moog synthesizer. And Holland had a whole lot of new material to share with the crowd. So a lot of elements came together to create the right atmosphere for some music magic, which of course is what Holland specializes in.

At 7:17 p.m., Holland and her band took the stage, kicking off the first set with “Lovestruck,” a tune with a great pulsing dance beat, giving the courtyard a sudden joyful club atmosphere, and featuring an excellent vocal performance. After that song, Holland mentioned that they were going to do songs with a lot of different styles, and that the next was “in the vibe of Stevie Wonder.” “Also, my theme song,” Holland added, as they began “Listen For My Love,” a soulful pop tune with a strong electronic, yet cheerful sound. Mike had switched from bass to Moog for this one. “When life’s a mess/I’m pulling for your success/Always, always.” Ah, we all need to hear that, don’t we? Particularly these days, when things are incredibly messy out there. “When you’re far from home/Anywhere on the globe/You are not alone/Listen for my love/And I’ll be there inside your arms.”

Holland then played electric ukulele on “100 Proof,” a tune that goes back to the Heartkour days, more than a decade ago, a song I’m always happy to hear. Last night’s version featured some nice stuff on keys. That was followed by the only cover of the set, a sweet and playful rendition of Frank Zappa’s “Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance.” On this one, Holland played both electric ukulele and kazoo, and afterward mentioned that there had been some pocket fuzz in the kazoo. “It came flying into my mouth.” She then played one of my favorites of the new material, “Saint.” This was only the second time it was played, and it was a ridiculous amount of fun, with Holland using a fan for part of it (“So hot, I need a fan”). Mike played Moog on this one. But it was Holland’s vocal line that made it my favorite song of the first set.

Holland played electric guitar on “Missing You Madly,” a song she introduced as being “for all those people who get lonely in their rooms.” It’s a sweeter tune, but still with a groove and some soul, no question. The sweeter vibes continued with “Solace,” a beautiful song she wrote at Joshua Tree. “You are my solace in the night.” Before “Ooh Ooh,” she introduced the band, mentioning it was Mike Clairmont’s first show with her. They concluded the first set with another new tune, “(Where Is My) Peter Pan,” a somewhat mellow number which has the style and vibe of a song for a musical.

We’re going to start with something soft and pensive,” Holland said when the band returned to the stage for the second set. They opened with “Suitable Life,” another cool new song. That was followed by “Real Love,” the song the band played during the soundcheck. As Holland mentioned at the show, it’s a song that has been released by Funk LeBlanc with Holland on vocals (you can hear that version on Soundcloud). It’s a fun dance song with a solid disco beat. Holland followed that with a couple more favorites from the early days – “Flashback” and “Stuck.” It’s always good to hear these songs, and “Stuck” in particular was so much fun last night, with a bright and delicious energy. Mike delivered some cool work on bass, and Allison added a playful touch at the end. Holland played electric ukulele on both songs, as well as on “Guilty Pleasure Zone,” which followed. This is one Holland has been playing for a while, and is always a vibrant number. Last night it rocked, a highlight of the second set.

“Guilty Pleasure Zone” began the section of the show where most of the action was for me. The last several tunes had a great energy, with things getting loose and wild and fun. For “Power Of Your Touch,” another fantastic new tune, Holland switched to electric guitar. This was a rock song, with a touch of new wave and punk, and I loved it. “Nothing’s going to get in the way of my love for you.” The fun continued with “Bolder Beginnings,” also new (this was the first time it was played), a power pop song with a catchy beat, a totally enjoyable tune with Holland belting out some of the lines. I only wish the song went on a little longer. It felt like it was over much too soon. That was followed by “Freak Flag,” an excellent song with a punk rock drive and another absolutely wonderful vocal performance. The show then concluded with “Fool Around.” Before starting it, Holland said, “Be the driver you want to see on the road,” a variation of the line “Be the change you wish to see in the world” (itself a sort of paraphrase of something Gandhi once said). That is something I should keep in mind whenever I’m driving. When introducing “Fool Around,” Holland laughingly added, “It’s also my theme song,” a playful reminder of the beginning of the first set. “Fool Around” is another favorite of mine, a fun song with a delicious groove. The band was clearly having a great time with this one last night, a perfect ending to the show.

Set List

Set I
  1. Lovestruck
  2. Listen For My Love
  3. 100 Proof
  4. Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance
  5. Saint
  6. Missing You Madly
  7. Solace
  8. Ooh Ooh
  9. (Where Is My) Peter Pan 
Set II
  1. Suitable Life
  2. Real Love
  3. Flashback
  4. Stuck
  5. Guilty Pleasure Zone
  6. Power Of Your Touch
  7. Bolder Beginnings
  8. Freak Flag
  9. Fool Around 
Here are some photos from the show:

"Listen For My Love"
"100 Proof"
"Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance"
"Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance"
"Missing You Madly"
"Suitable Life"
"Power Of Your Touch"
One Colorado is located at 41 Hugus Alley in Pasadena, California.

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