Material: The career of Robbie Gennet has evolved like a successive wave of theatrical scenery. Original songs from his extensive catalog often visualize the depths of his greatest fears and the flamboyance of his creative prowess. Gennet’s past experience writing musical theater productions have undoubtedly influenced many of the compositions featured on his recent solo album, Gleams. This progressive rock album also contains elements of progressive pop and soft rock. One of the best examples of his colorful expressiveness is “Electric Skies,” an art rock song stylized similarly to “Come Sail Away” by Styx.
Musicianship: Robbie Gennet’s artistry still encompasses some of the basic remnants of his previous projects. But those experimental phases have expanded from hard rock and jazz to his current fixation on symphonic rock. Many of the vivid characteristics of this genre can be heard through the musicality that the songwriter-producer displays on his new album. For example, “Running Away” is a dramatic composition that evokes somewhat of a rhythmic comparison to “Aquarius” from the 1969 musical Hair.
Performance: From the seat of his piano, Gennet orchestrated an enthralling presentation of his brand new album. The emotional sound of the Florida native’s music was bolstered by the strong presence of his backup band featuring three background vocalists, two violinists and a drummer. Gennet’s voice echoed a vibrato reminiscent of George Harrison of The Beatles. A majority of the songs that Gennet performed carried the epic sentiment of symphonic rock, while the other musical compositions that he played were of the pop-rock variety. Toward the end the performance, the artist capped his 10-song setlist with a composition called “Rainbow,” a motivational piece about love, hurt, optimism and the maturation process that is life.
Summary: The small performance space at Hotel Café provided an ideally intimate setting for the charismatic Robbie Gennet to pound the keys like Elton John and take us on an aesthetic dive into the depths of Gennet’s catalog. He could have thrilled us even more by displaying his ability to play five instruments. In that regard, this performer’s true capability was left to the audience’s imagination.
Players: Robbie Gennet, vocals, keys, guitar, bass, drums; Kaitlin Wolfberg, violin; Emily Elkin, cello; Camille Wyatt, vocals; Robbie Danzie, vocals; Fernando Perdomo, bass; Ryan Brown, drums