Live Review: Anna Vogelzang at Hotel Cafe


Material: Vogelzang is an impressive lyricist and demonstrates her ideas boldly through the use of vivid imagery and keen memories. The majority of her songs tell stories fueled by the timeless themes of love and heartbreak. The song “Kay,” off her recent album, Driftless, is a song about loss and memories, and it creates a colorful marriage between her lyrics and images.

This artist’s execution of ideas is sharp, and those ideas seem to be conceived from simple concepts, which are relatable to most people.

Musicianship: Though she is showcased as a multi-instrumentalist, Vogelzang’s skills on guitar and banjo are elementary. Her light, country-like vocals accompanied by a steel guitar are where her potential lies.

As a vocalist she shows strength and clever phrasing within her higher vocal ranges, and is skillful at weaving different levels of crescendo. She could, however, work on smoothly transitioning into lower octaves. All in all, the artist's vocal and instrument abilities could both be further developed.

Performance: Vogelzang’s stage presence lacked energy, resulting in a sluggish show. She had very little interaction with her audience and was unable to make a lasting impression. Even with the club’s intimate setting, Vogelzang made little effort to captivate and engage.

She was unorganized in her instrument prep and set-up, creating a delay in her performance. Her presentation was often emotionless, bored and rushed. In order to build a loyal audience, Vogelzang needs to portray a more colorful stage persona.

Summary: Overall Anna Vogelzang’s novice ability as an instrumentalist, when paired with lack of stage presence, make her a performer with plenty of room to grow. Significant improvements are needed in several areas, but her shortcomings could be offset if she were to develop more control over her voice at lower pitches and not straining her cords to project. Indeed, professional vocal coaching will aid in making Vogelzang the artist she wants to be.

Players: Anna Vogelzang, vocals, guitar, banjo.
Venue: Hotel Café
City: Los Angeles, CA
Web: theanna.com