Livestream • Valentine Studios Los Angeles, CA
Players: Zachary Kibbee, vocals, guitar; Derrick Wong, bass; Jessica Goodwin, drums; Felipe Rodrigo, guitar; Whitney Myer, keyboard, backing vocals
Material: Influenced by blues and classic rock, Zachary Kibbee has incorporated these elements into his songwriting, while navigating his own path. Taken at face value, Kibbee’s music is easily relatable. His songs are imbued with catchy musical motifs and singable choruses, relying on repetition and succinct messages.
Kicking off the set with the smokin’ “Come Back,” a plea for a lost love to reconsider, an instantly memorable guitar melody runs throughout, buttressed by backing vocals that neatly tie the song together. “Life In Low Fidelity” accomplishes something musically similar, with short, clipped phrases, and infectious background vocals. “Don’t Fade Away,” an acoustic based ballad in 6/8, laments a past relationship whose memory is slipping away. Closing out the set was the optimistic “Better Days.” "I know it’s coming / It’s caving in / I might need saving / But I don’t know where to begin / Better days / Better days / Better days are gonna call.”
Musicians: Kibbee has that unquantifiable X Factor, and an appeal that is palpable. His spirited tenor voice has shades of Maroon 5’s Adam Levine. His band isn’t simply a backing band in service of Kibbee’s songs, but a part of the fabric that makes it all work, live. They all bring something to the party.
Performance: Broadcast from a recording studio, the set benefited from good sound and alternating camera angles. Never displacing Kibbee from his mantle as frontman, it only enhanced the viewing experience. Adhering strictly to a thirty-minute set, (just the right amount of time for a streaming show), you might have to wait for a longer one to hear more from Kibbee about what’s behind his music.
Summary: Though the band bears Zachary Kibbee’s name, they are a tight and cohesive unit, working in tandem. His songs create a sense of intrigue, piquing one’s curiosity about the artist and what drives him. So, make a note to check him out in person, when venues are back in business.