Material: With songs from his latest record Animal, along with commercial hit “Devil Like You” (as featured in Netflix’s Lucifer) and 2018’s “Can’t Stand Myself,” Gareth Dunlop delivered a beautiful set of music with a combination of impressive vocals alongside solid guitar and piano work. Opening for Lee Rogers and Foy Vance–who were both idols for Dunlop as a youngster—he has worked as a producer on each of their records and has been touring alongside them both, in a full-circle story for the ages.
Musicianship: Opening with a gently strummed guitar melody and haunting vocal vibrato on “My Kind of Paradise,” Dunlop held the room’s attention effortlessly with his lilting rhythms and great contrast of dynamics, along with a unique combination of vocal timbre and unassuming confidence that added to his storytelling. Following up with a stripped-down version of 2019’s “You,” Dunlop showcased the powerful simplicity of his songwriting. “Can’t Stand Myself” featured gentle picking with incredible vocal control and delivery, with alternating vibrato. “Devil Like You” was smooth, solid, and equally captivating.
Performance: The Downtown Los Angeles venue was filled with a sophisticated, jovial crowd of music connoisseurs, eager to engage in the unfolding. Dunlop appeared on stage with no airs and graces, very humble and incredibly talented, holding the audience captive from the moment he stepped into the spotlight. His gravelly-edged syrupy tones deliver gorgeous, comforting songs, while his musical ability was equal parts expressive and sparing, leaving room for listeners to be pulled into the conversation. Switching to the piano for set closer, “Looking Back Smiling,” Dunlop left the crowd with a deliciously singable story, before joining Vance and the rest of the band on bass guitar, and leading them on “Animal.”
Summary: Whether performing as a solo act, or as a part of the band backing Vance, Dunlop’s gentle and warm demeanor, beneath a loosely self-deprecating interaction with the crowd, delivers a stellar set of music showcasing talented songwriting and strong musicianship. His modesty and heartfelt appreciation for the room is palpable and adds to the overall energetic exchange. Gareth Dunlop gives a fabulous performance and offers a wonderful evening of music, most especially for those with a deep appreciation for honest, authentic sound.
Contact: Victoire Selce - Shorefire Media, [email protected]
Photo by Derek Harper