Material: You know him as Dexter, the blood spatter expert for the Miami Police Dept., a serial killer who hunts serial killers. But Hall is also a talented singer who fronts his own band, Princess Goes to The Butterfly Museum. Alternative rock meets electronica best describes Hall’s music; angsty, energized and at times hypnotic. In some cases, the lyrics are more cryptic, and one is left to their own interpretation; however, the vibe and sentiment is relatable.
The band hits the stage with “Nevertheless,” an edgy full-throttle number with driving beats, aptly setting the tone for the set. “Cruel World,” with its Beatlesque instrumental intro, addresses a relationship that needs to end: I used to see beauty in people/ But now I see muscle and bones/ You know I never wanted to hurt you/ but I’m sorry my friend/ This is the end/ So I’m saying my goodbyes. Altering the mood, “Daddy-Escape Route,” provides a vehicle for Hall to express regrets about missed opportunities to connect with his father, a cathartic moment in the set: In the broad light of day, you break your brand-new toy/ It’s better fear than nothing coming from your daddy’s eyes.
Musicianship: Hall’s voice has shades of Bowie, especially in the mid-range, and enough vocal agility to let loose in the upper registers. He’s assembled an all-star backing band with the likes of Peter Yanowitz (the Wallflowers) and Matt Katz-Bohen (Blondie, Cindi Lauper). Along with live instruments, there are various programmed synth sounds that pull in the electronica element.
Performance: Loyal fans packed the room, standing shoulder to shoulder, cheering, and singing along with many of the songs. From the moment the band walked on stage they could do wrong. They kept the crowd riveted for almost two hours—a bit long since there was so much to digest. Hall has a mesmerizing presence that drew you into his vortex, making it hard at times to evaluate individual elements, as they were overshadowed by his appeal. A newcomer to the band’s music might long for some backstories here and there, but the night was mostly about wall-to-wall music.
Summary: Compelling and fully engaging, Hall puts the same intensity into his music as he does his acting. To unravel some of the song’s mysteries is enticing, but Hall performs without addressing most of them. As for fans of Princess Goes To The Butterfly Museum, they will leave more than satisfied.
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Players: Michael C. Hall, vocals; Matt Katz-Bohen, keyboards; Peter Yanowitz, drums