Live Review: Erene Mastrangeli

Rockwood Music Hall New York, NY 

Contact: [email protected] 


Players: Erene Mastrangeli, Vocals, Guitar; Bernice Brooks (AKA Boom Boom), Drums; Dawn Drake, Bass; Julia Chen, Keys; Alicyn Yaffee, Electric Guitar; Sean Stefanic, Guest Speaker. 

Material: Over the moon with the release of her first full album, Erene Mastrangeli showcased her newest collection of songs. Influenced by artists like Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt, her material blends folk and pop as she explores themes of love, unity, and female empowerment. “Let’s Take It Slow,” focuses on grabbing those special moments in between the chaos of everyday life: The fences have been mended/ dishes put away/The day was good/the work was hard/ …Let’s take it slow/let’s take it easy/ come on let it go/come on sit beside me. On a more solemn note, Mastrangeli grapples with a cause she is passionate about. Championing gun control after the Pulse nightclub shooting back in 2016, she penned the song “Love, Shine,” which is the title track from the album: Stop all the violence/the massacre of life/stop with the guns/when you kill someone you die…/love, love please come down/love, love shine on us/shine all around. Written in 6/8 time the song plays like an anthem while pulling at our heartstrings. She wrapped up the set with "What Is Love,” a perfect way to end, expressing something we all share; our desire to love and be loved. 

Musicianship: Mastrangeli’s vocals are not pyrotechnical but more even keeled and in step with her songwriting. Her all-female band further promotes her philosophy of women fulfilling their potential. While they are a tight unit and good support for her, some standout moments from drummer Brooks added further spice to the sound. 

Performance: The most striking thing about this artist is her affable manner and her ability to connect with the audience. Though not every song is as memorable as others, she has the knack of drawing you in. She even made space to address her commitment to gun control. Before singing the song, she brought Shawn Stefanic from Gays Against Guns, on stage, to speak to the audience about the organization, a moment which added more dimension and depth to the overall performance. 

Summary: Erene Mastrangeli is clearly an artist of substance who is true to her feelings and causes. She presents her material with authenticity and sincerity and while some songs stand out more than others, she is on her way to shaping a meaningful career. The accompanying video to “Love, Shine,” is also out now.