Live Review: Zack Kirkorian

Canyon Club Santa Clarita, CA

Contact: zackyboy@mindspring.com

Web: artistdata.sonicbids.com/band/zack-kirkorian

Players: Zack Kirkorian, vocals, guitar; Donny Klein, bass, backing vocals; Eddie Guzman, drums, backing vocals

Material: Performing live at the Canyon Club in Santa Clarita, Zack Kirkorian delivered an interesting combination of psychedelic rock with ’80s sound. From trance elements in show opener, “Love Me Now,” to the funky drum and synthesizer breakdown in “Cinch It Down Tight,” to background slides and vocal rumblings in “Be Myself” and a moving sound throughout the set, Kirkorian keeps the audience guessing with transitions between live and pre-recorded sounds, while alternating between mellow and heavier rock delivery.

Musicianship: The sonic pulse of “Be Myself” added special effects to Kirkorian’s syncopated lyrics, with Donnie Klein added driving bass lines and Eddie Guzman’s drums providing a steady platform of sound all night. “Plenty of Reasons” presented a great opening guitar/bass duet and showcased Kirkorian’s guitar skills, as well as highlighting solid harmonized vocals. Early INXS-meets-Robert-Palmer vibes in “Love Me Now” brought an interesting bridge transition, sturdy drumming and good backing vocal harmonies from Klein and Guzman, while call and response between Kirkorian and Klein added extra flavor to the synthesized effects on closing number, “Like Yourself.” Outer space voicings and retro sounds appeared alongside vocal harmonies, guitar licks, and a great groove in “We Gonna Dance.” The band delivered an overall balanced rock sound.

Performance: While there were some initial soundcheck issues, Kirkorian and the band  remained calm and professional and were clearly happy to be performing. Appearing relaxed and confident on stage, Kirkorian had no trouble interacting with the crowd between songs, although most of the set was continuous. The three musicians worked well together, the flow of music was good, and transitions between songs were smooth.

Summary: With moments of spoken word and plenty of synthesized sound effects and voicings, Kirkorian is far from conventional in his artistry and performance. Clearly passionate about sonic mastering and production, he combines elements from 80’s rock, free-form improvisation and psych pop, creating a unique sound all his own. With his blend of strong guitar stylings and capable backing musicians, Kirkorian delivers a unique show of original music with a bold musical spirit.