Concert Review

Rocky Votolato at Rhythm Room (Happy Birthday, Rocky!)

Rocky Votolato had a lot to celebrate last night at the Rhythm Room. To start with, the Seattle singer-songwriter just recently released his sixth album, True Devotion. Votolato's latest record continues the folksy roots sound that his fans have become accustomed to. In addition to his latest album release, another reason for Votolato to celebrate last night was the fact that yesterday just so happened to be his birthday. And what better way to celebrate your birthday then by playing a show packed full of your fans.

The show was opened up by local band Bears of Manitou. This was the Mesa duo's live debut and though they seemed a little nervous on stage they managed to deliver a good performance, which included a very nice song sang entirely in Portuguese. After a quick break in between sets Adam H. Stephens, from the band Two Gallants, took the stage with his backing band for a short but solid set.

Votolato opened up his set with his harmonica and acoustic-guitar by playing the song "Alabaster" from his 2003 album Suicide Medicine and then followed that up with the song "What Waited For Me" off of True Devotion.

After only a few songs into Votolato's set, fellow tour mates Adam H. Stephens and his band surprised Rocky on stage with a birthday cake and got the entire audience to join in for "Happy Birthday To You." Votolato even managed to blow out all of the candles that were placed atop his delicious looking carrot cake.

Throughout the show a few die hard Rocky Votolato fans that were at the front of the stage sang along with songs like "Portland Is Leaving" and "White Daisy Passing" and seemed to try to get the rest of the audience to join them in the singalong. But it wasn't until Votolato played the song "Suicide Medicine" that he managed to get more than just a few members of the audience to join in with him.

"Thank you for spending my birthday with me, you made it special." said Votolato as he ended the night. But judging from the reaction of the crowd last night it seemed like everyone who came to see him was more thankful for him being there then the other way around.

Critics Notebook:

Last Night: Bears of Manitou, Adam H. Stephens, Rocky Votolato at the Rhythm Room

Better Than: Realizing you're about to turn 30 this year.

Personal Bias: I am pleased to report I was bias free on this one.

Random Detail: A fan bought Votolato a shot to celebrate.

Further Listening: True Devotion by Rocky Votolato

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Mike Escoto