Geographer played the El Rey this past Saturday night captivating fans with a blissful performance. Michael Deni came out dressed in sleek black, and right away hypnotized the packed room with his charming stage presence and vocals. Deni is a man of many talents and seamlessly transitions from vocals, guitar, keys and sax. The people in the crowd, especially the ladies, were mesmerized by his showmanship, as well as the band’s. Deni’s vocals were flawless as he was able to hit some really high notes without any effort. As I looked around the room, fans had twinkles in their eyes as they stared in awe. They were totally lost in a beautiful moment and Geographer was the driving force behind it.
Before Geographer had took to the stage, Los Angeles’ Smoke Season got the crowd in a stellar mood with their “dustbowl soul”. The band consists of Gabrielle Wortman on vocals and keys, Jason Rosen on vocals and guitar, Christopher Roberts at the drums and Gabe Davis on bass. Smoke Season came out with one intention, and that was to rock the house, and they did just that.
Smoke Season had an incredible energy from start to finish. The band seemed to vibe off each others talents creating a welcoming atmosphere for the crowd to groove along to. Sexy and passionate, Smoke Season reminded me a bit the XX, however, boasting a faster tempo. Wortman owned the stage. She whipped her cotton candy pink hair around and sang to your soul, willfully commanding the attention of everyone in the room.
Haunted Summer followed Smoke Season and came out with added band members that included some lovely woodwinds. Bridgette Moody was dressed in paisley with a stringy mane hovering just below her shoulders. At first glance she resembled Janis Joplin. Haunted Summer’s set was pretty subdued until the end when they completely let loose. Moody was on the ground belting out lyrics and banging her head as her hair flew in the different directions. The intensity of their performance had hit its peak, and then it was over. Although there is beauty in languid pop ballads, the transition to slight mania was absolutely engaging. I would have liked to have seen a bit more energy in their set, similar to how they wrapped things up.
Words and Photography: Wes Marsala