Material: With throwback renditions of Shaggy’s “I Need Your Love” and “Drive” from Incubus, in addition to radio favorite, “Shut up and Dance with Me” by Walk the Moon, singer, producer and songwriter Alex Rosales won the enthusiasm of a disgruntled audience who had signed up for a rooftop experience (strong winds forced the venue to move indoors). Rosales offered his own sensual tones in a nod to the Cure and a Brian McKnight medley (“Anytime, Back At One”) and ended with his EP Feel Good.
Musicianship: Other than sultry vocals, these covers were not memorable. Pop singers have a tendency to sound similar, and while Rosales definitely has that voice to win a competition, he ought to experiment with ranges outside of typical R&P and pop in order to avoid being forgotten among other aspiring singers. His skills with instruments, in contrast, were admirable. Rosales was attached to his keyboard, and maneuvered his fingers through each chord lovingly, pausing only at every odd beat to use his shaker. The keyboard was his main tool, as it was these calculated high notes that made the covers his own. These, paired with the guitarists, added distinct flavor to these familiar tunes. His last song, “Feel Good,” has a catchy chorus you could take back home with you.
Performance: Rosales’ good natured personality glowed across even the dimmest corner. His personable demeanor and storytelling were generous, his laughter contagious. All that was missing was un poquito de baile, but alas, the singer stayed sedentary at his keyboard and let his audience do the dancing. It was not, however, a dull performance. These musicians, though seated, were clearly grooving to their music makers—Brian Kops with his cajon, Mickey Sanchez and Carlos Vasquez on guitars, Brandon Canada at his bass and Rosales with his vibrant yellow shaker.
Summary: Alex Rosales and his musicians delivered great entertainment with a welcoming onstage personality and an ability to turn the vacant dance floor into a dance party. But Rosales could have done more to separate his name from just your typical aspiring pop singer. While he did play some great covers and one original song, his performance would have been all the more memorable had he been able to offer a few more original songs.
The Players: Alex Rosales, vocals, keyboard, shaker; Brandon Canada, bass; Brian Kops, cajon; Mickey Sanchez, guitar; Carlos Vasquez, guitar.
Photo by Rosario Diaz
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