Viva PHX feat. David D'Alessio, Brian Marquis, Dylan Pratt One Coffee Co. 3/7/14
While rock, pop, and hip-hop respectively blared from other Viva PHX venues around downtown Phoenix on Friday night, the scene at One Coffee Co. was a bit more subdued. Folk artists, acoustic guitarists, and troubadours from both the local scene and across the country dominated this particular stage, each offering their take on the singer/songwriter genre. And while the music may not have been as bombastic or thunderous as what was taking place at other stages, it had a certain emotional power of its own.
To wit: Brian Marquis, who hails from Boston, started the night with a laid-back set. His raspy rock vocals gave off a bit of a twang that helped round out his performance to give a full sound. The captivated the crowd with such originals as "Ratt Street" and covers like "Hard to Explain" by The Strokes and "High and Dry" by Radiohead.
To top it all off, Marquis not only demonstrated how well he can play guitar, but also showed off some of his harmonica skills as well. A somewhat talkative performer, he joked with the Arizonans about the weather as he urged them to purchase some tank tops he was selling after he wasn't able to movie them in Chicago because of freezing temperatures.
Next in the line-up was Phoenix artist, Dylan Pratt, who brought the now packed venue a more calming aura as the night continued. A quieter performer, Pratt still captivated those in attendance and kept their attention.
He timidly cracked jokes about tuning his guitar between songs, saying he would "perform this song again... after the next song" before thanking the crowd for liking the song so much, getting a few laughs from the audience as he did so. Pratt serenaded the crowd with original songs such as "Poison Fruit" and "Honest Kind of Luck" from his latest album, Beg for Fire, maintaining his relaxing vibe throughout.
New Yorker David D'Alessio was joined onstage during his set by his fiancée Jen Blodgett and the two won over the audience with spot-on harmonies and a unique sound. The couple performed quite a few songs from D'Alessio's latest album, Some Girls while using instruments like a tambourine and a ukulele.
Some greatly enjoyed audience engagement was brought to this set as D'Allesio taught the crowd the lines "Hey all right/I'll hold you tight" during "Twenty-Two" and humorously encouraged participation by saying "If you can't participate, well, shame on you!" More audience interaction followed toward the end of the show as Blodgett led a clap-along to the song "Good Fight."
But, along with having a knack for getting the crowd involved, D'Alessio was also good at talking to the audience and keeping it fun and casual. A common topic of the night was The Neighbourhood -- who happened to be performing a few blocks away at CityScape =- and their current hit, "Sweater Weather," or as it was referred to by D'Alessio as "the sweater song." Despite "Sweater Weather" popping up in conversation, it was never covered and instead the pair continued to perform other songs from Some Girls including "Ghost (The Bachelor's Curse)" and a cover of Erasure's "A Little Respect." After finishing up their final song, D'Alessio and Blodgett bid the crowd adieux and told them all to go enjoy the sweater song.
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