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Casey Abrams At The Bootleg Theater, Saturday January 26th 2013

While opening for the Kyle Gas band at the Bootleg theater on Saturday night, Casey Abrams sat comfortably in a car seat, yes a car seat, just set up in the middle of the stage. Wearing baggy shorts and a pony tail, this guy had to have one of the most laid-back attitudes I had seen on stage, while being barely 22. Strumming his guitar and singing with a very acrobatic voice, doing basically what he wanted with it, adopting a bluesy then old-school R&B, but mostly jazzy tone, he looked like a younger version of the Big Lebowsky singing like Jason Mraz trying to alternately imitate Ray Charles or even Bobby McFerrin. But don’t get me wrong, when I say imitate, it should not be taken badly, his vocalization truly seemed effortless and honestly,… jazz? He didn’t pick the most popular genre, this guy obviously doesn’t want to take the easy way out.

 

For the next songs he picked up a large upright bass, and with the help of his excellent pianist, he played a few songs of his recently released self-titled album, with the same relax attitude, bringing a breath of fresh air with his agile voice, playfully scat singing, then turning soul-bluesy like a black man.

 

I was amazed to see that the video I shot got over 160 views just over two days, but I have to say that Abrams got a brush with fame by finishing in sixth place during the tenth season of American Idol, and by even doing a duo with Jack Black for the 2011 American Idol finale,… and this could totally explain why he was opening for Kyle Gass! That said, it was obvious to see why Casey Abrams got the job, he displayed a real talent with a cool and quirky stage presence, bringing all the jazzness out of his pop songs, improvising and playing his bass like a ‘rock-star cello’ – his own term. The girls in the front shouted a few ‘you are hot’, he just answered nooo, while rolling his eyes, and another ex-American Idol contestant, Haley Reinhart, came on stage for a beautiful duo on Steve Winwood’s classic ‘Can’t find my Way Home’.

 

But Casey Abrams is someone to be experienced live, since listening to a few tracks of his album once home didn’t reflect his humor and real wild talent. On record, he sounds too much like your next soft pop-singer who wants to get a record deal, but live, he sounded like Nina Simone backed up by Ray Charles.

 

Setlist

Blame it on Me

Simple Life

Dry Spell

Stuck in London

Lost and looking

Midnight Girl

Wore out my soul

Can’t find my Way Home

Get out

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