|Eric Hutchinson (Photos by Lindsay Amanda and ChinaShopMag.com)|
Some of the most memorable experiences are ingrained in our mind due to the novelty of spontaneity, and the people we share it with. This is exactly how two years after I saw Eric Hutchinson in concert, I recall nearly every moment as it if it was yesterday.
There have been many assessments of Eric Hutchinson's style, all of which are a combination of alternative and independent genres. The best description thus far in my eyes comes from the music-inspired community of Milkboy Coffee, the eclectic home to emerging artists, located in one of my favorite states, Pennsylvania. The review mentioned that his music has "painstakingly placed lyrics, brimming with sarcasm and wit." These expressions, along with his incredible talent as a pianist, vocalist, and songwriter naturally served as gravity, pulling me into his world.
I credit one of my close college friends, Nathan, for introducing me to Eric's music. I was first exposed to Eric's music when one of his songs was recorded on a mixed tape that Nathan had made for a few others and me. I was instantly hooked, and when I was told that Eric was coming to the House of Blues in San Diego for a concert, there was not a millisecond of hesitation from me to join.
One of my favorite aspects of every live music event is singing beside friends along with the musician who created the staff. The set list was Eric's 2008 album Sounds Like This, played on shuffle. There were a few surprises in the lineup such as an adapted version of The Temptations beloved song "My Girl," a new title, "Sad Songs," and some impromptu poetry to rhythm, but for the most part it was a familiar set. The show was perfect from beginning to end, opening with the final track of the CD "You've Got You," and commencing with his most recognized song "Rock and Roll."
The spontaneous occurrences begin to unfold immediately following the act. When most musicians would jet, ducking into their tour buses and vans as soon as the curtain falls, Eric honored his fans by making himself available for signing and photos on site. The friend who introduced me to the music had asked a girlfriend and I to bring a copy of the score for the song "Rock & Roll," that he had purchased to get signed since the crowd was so dense, knowing we could push our way through more easily. Once we arrived face-to-face with Eric, we transformed into star-struck girls, awkwardly asking for a picture with him. He asked for our names, "I'm Lindsay and this is Melissa," I say. I was simultaneously wide-eyed, nervous and excited when he took our friend's booklet out of my hands and wrote both of our names on the cover. It was not until we got back to Nathan to give him his booklet that we realized it wasn't our memorabilia that was just addressed to us. Oops!!
After we cleared our fellow fans and reached the fresh downtown San Diego air that evening, our group stood outside raving about the show. I was deep in debrief when a friend looked over my shoulder and announced, "Hey great job tonight!" I whipped around thinking it was Eric again, and turned to find out the person standing behind me was one of his talented supporting band members, Tony. I engaged in conversation, enthusiastically telling him that I drove down from Orange County to come see the band play. He then told me that Eric and crew were playing in my neighborhood three days from then, and offered me tickets to the show since he did not have any direct ties to the area. Ecstatic? Yes! Again, how can I resist?
Now, I have seen some of my favorite bands multiple times, but never, until this point, had I seen an artist perform twice in the same week. Although it is nearly impossible to feel the same level of exuberance the second time around than one's initial reaction, I am happy to report that even with the set listing replicated, the bonus show was wonderfully entertaining.
Eric Hutchinson is an artist with uniquely powerful talents, synthesizing musicality and poetry. His upbeat tunes translate the reality of his wit and humor into a true appreciation of the art. Despite the fact that I have fallen behind on my concert reviews, and am recalling these instances years later, the timing cannot be better. I'm proud to say that the teaser of his new song, "Watching You Watch Him," is up to par. If rumor proves true, it should release at the end of November on the airwaves in preview to his new album Moving Up, Living Down, estimated to release early 2012. Until then, I urge you to visit his website at www.EricHutchinson.com and sign up for exclusive news and information. I know I'm already there!