Kate Voegele @ Fillmore at Irving Plaza (9/25/2008)

Logo - Kate Voegele

Artist: Kate Voegele
Venue: The Fillmore NY (New York, NY)
Opener: Lesley Roy & Virginia Coalition
Date: 9/25/2008
Label: MySpace Music/Interscope Records

While it’s true that the music of an artist like Kate Voegele is not something I find myself attending a concert for on a regular basis, I had to admit that I couldn’t resist the chance to give it a try based on the singer’s being a semi-regular on a hit television show and since this was actually going to be the first MySpace Music show that I would be attending. Once I found out that Lesley Roy was going to be one of the opening acts for the tour I knew I wanted to see this one a little more and the event would find me once again at The Fillmore NY but this time amidst a totally different kind of crowd than the ones I am normally surrounded by. Outside of the venue was Kate’s tour bus and it had the whole “MySpace Music presents the Back 2 School Tour” and it seemed that the event was also being supported by the University Of Phoenix, which is primarily known for being an online educator. The line to get in was almost around the block and the crowd was composed of mostly younger girls and a very few guys and I had to laugh because the last time I had witnessed something like this was when the Finnish band HIM had first touched down upon US soil for their gig at The Bowery Ballroom a few years ago. Since I wanted to absorb the whole show I made sure to get in well before the first band went on and it was fortuitous that I did that since Lesley Roy was going to be up first.

Lesley Roy: When I got the advance of Lesley Roy’s CD “Unbeautiful”, I had to say that I was instantly hooked on the catchy melodies across every track. Her music is definitely what one would consider Power Pop and she reminded me a little bit of Avril Lavigne from when that singer was first doing her thing. My presence at the show tonight was actually primarily to see Lesley and while I knew she was not headlining, I had not expected her to be going on first. That disappointed me because that meant a shorter set of material and being offstage faster than she was actually on it. Lesley hails from Ireland and also plays guitar during her sets which means she is on the stage for the whole gig unlike those singers who walk on and off when the band is playing without them. She came out with a nice amount of energy starting off with “Here For You Now”, and as I glanced the posted set list on the stage is appeared that all of the eight numbers she would do would come from her Jive Records debut release. There is a nice vibe across the album and she does seem to have a powerful and passionate voice to her. She spoke very briefly to the audience and I am sure that time was the rationale behind this being so limited. Sadly I did not catch any of the band members names who were joining her for the gig and I was not 100% sure that this was her actual band or just session guys. The band was young as well so they were probably the official band and they did a fine job of executing this material live. I love “Unbeautiful” as a track and “Slow Goodbye”, a track which was actually written by Katy Perry (another singer who is growing in popularity by leaps and bounds). My very favorite numbers fell to “Psycho Bitch” and the albums opener “I’m Gone, I’m Going”. The crowd seemed to enjoy her quite a bit which was a pleasant surprise to see. I had expected them to be only focused on Kate this evening, but was glad to be proven wrong. I think Lesley has a lot of great things going on musically and hope that she gains a larger audience with her album. Its worthy of attention. Virginia Coalition was up next.

Virginia Coalition: This band was another new one for me and based on their overall syle I could see how I had missed out on them before. The quartet actually hails from Virginia and delivers a very Counting Crows meets The Dave Matthews Band kind of sound and while its not exactly my own cup of tea the sound is very user friendly and they had a nice amount of people swaying or holding hands and singing along with them as they played. The singer is Andrew Poilakoff and he spoke to the crowd a little more since they had a longer set time and according to what he said he and the guys had met during school and are just friends who love to play music for other people. I had no idea about their tunes and I am sorry for that but I did have to say that their soulful and pleasant approach to the music came across as very genuine. During the set they did a cover of “Lean On Me” and later on would blend portions of The Jackson Fives “ABC” to one of their numbers and each of these little twists went over well with the assembled crowd. The bands latest album is called “Home This Year” and if groups with a smooth soulful vibe do it for you then I suggest that you check them out a little more. Once they left the crowds yelling became almost deafening as shouts of “Kate, Kate, Kate” began.

Kate Voegele: I had to say that I was floored by the response that Ms. Voegele was getting from the girls in the crowd and the screams coming out of them could have broken glass when it came down to it. This impressed me quite a bit and having seen a wide variety of shows I don’t think the levels of the pre-gig shouting had ever hit that octave before. I get to be up front for a few minutes to take photos and I was so glad that I was armed with a pair of earplugs and having experienced this before the guys who do security even warned me about what to expect. Soon Kate was onstage and she was all smiles and dressed in a great outfit that consisted of leather pants that showed her to be quite the beauty on top of being a stellar talent. It seemed that a majority of the crowd for Kate were fans of hers based on her appearances as a part of the cast of “One Tree Hill” – the show is one of those young drama meets romance meets trials of life things and while I have never sat through an episode I know its popular among a certain demographic. Voegele plays the part of Mia who is actually a singer/guitarist on the show and not only does she get to sing, but she gets to do her own songs. Talk about building an audience of millions for yourself. Kate’s debut album is called “Don’t Look Away” and tonight she would play most of it for the attentive crowd. She would also do a couple of covers and these I knew since one was her own version of Alanis Morisette’s “You Oughta Know” and she tells the audience that while she thinks the song is awesome she cant get the necessary anger for it that Alanis did. Like Ms. Voegele, I am also amazed at how this was directed at the guy from “Full House”, but despite this it is still an incredible tune to this day. She would do a number of her songs from the show and everyone in the front and around me seemed to know the words to them and would sing right back to her. You knew that Kate could hear this and it only made her beaming smile brighter. She has a really great voice live and is very passionate during her songs and to me this added even more to the appeal. There is a slight Folkish vibe to her but she also has moments where she rocks.

Kate introduced her band while they jammed an instrumental rendition of “Billy Jean” and the guys consist of Sam Getz (guitar), Mark Tobik (bass), Brett Lindemann (keyboards) and Bob Matthws (drums). Getz was sitting down for the show and wearing a cast boot because he had apparently been hit by a car and was left with this injury. Lucky for him that it didn’t affect his guitar playing or even worse. Towards the end of the show Kate would do one more cover in “Hallelujah” and you could have heard a pin drop during this song as not a peep came out of the audience until she was done. She left the stage briefly only to return to play her closing numbers “Kindly Unspoken” and “Only Fooling Myself”, which I understand also come from the show. She did mention to the crowd about how thankful she was for the chance to be a part of it, and as mentioned she surely did her career no harm by being on it.

I thought the show was a very good one and while the music and energy coming off the stage was very positive I did have a minor criticism. With three bands on the bill, it should have started just a little bit earlier because of the younger audience members. Kate’s crowd all seemed to be college aged and even high school, so her going on at 10pm, found some needing to slip out before the very last number was performed. Had she done an earlier stage time she could have done a meet and greet which is seemed like the fans who remained were hoping for. Otherwise she is very good at what she does and I am sure if she plays her cards right and uses the channels like the show to keep her even more visible then we shall be hearing about her for a long, long time. It’s shows like this one that make me want to launch a second website that has the ability to feature acts that are a departure from my Metal comfort zone. Perhaps I will do that whenever time allows and showcase this sort of music for its fan base to be able to enjoy.

Lesley Roy Set List:
1. Here For You Now
2. Slow Goodbye
3. Misfit
4. Thinking Out Loud
5. Psycho Bitch
6. Unbeautiful
7. When I Look At You
8. I’m Gone, I’m Going

Kate Voegele Set list:
1. I Get It
2. Chicago
3. It’s Only Life
4. I Won’t Disagree
5. Wish You Were
6. No Good
7. Lift Me Up
8. You Oughta Know
9. One Way Or Another
10. Might Have Been
11. Hallelujah
12. Kindly Unspoken
13. Only Fooling Myself

Official Website: http://www.katevoegele.com/
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/lesleyroy

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