Thursday, November 5, 2009

Concert Review: 11/4 Justin Nozuka @ the Paradise

Paradise Rock Club featured Ontario native and soulful crooner, Justin Nozuka, on November 4. His current tour is an attempt for the singer to test out some of his new music on the crowd to see how receptive the audiences are to them.

Justin had two openers lined up to play before his set. First were Elizabeth and the Catapults hailing from Brooklyn, whose folk inspired melodies and infectious choruses attracted much crowd involvement. She showcased songs in which she sings about being "vertically challenged adults," boyfriends who wish their girlfriends were their mothers, and not taking yourself not too seriously. Her voice was soft, but soared unexpectedly when she would occasionally hit those high notes, sending the crowd into a state of shock. Her refreshing alternative styled music was a lovely way to start the night.

The next opener was Sam Bradley, a 23-year-old English native whose band hails from Vancouver. Perhaps you've heard the song "Never Think" sung by Robert Pattinson in the film, Twilight during a dinner scene between R-Pattz and Kristen Stewart. Perhaps you haven't heard it. Perhaps it's for the better. His set seemed to have dragged on for quite a bit. His musical style sounded like Americana folk rock, if such a combination is even fathomable coming from a Brit. Unfortunately his songs live sounded like a conglomeration of the same thing.

After waiting for quite some time and enduring the two opening acts for nearly two hours, Justin Nozuka finally graced the stage ever so charmingly. The soft-spoken 21-year-old commanded the attention of the audience before the lights were even turned on. A single candle was lit near the drums and an ambient environment was channeled. Each song had an instrumental opening in which he would stand in the center of the stage with his head leaned back directed toward the ceiling. It was as though the vibrations from his acoustic guitar and the slow vibrations produced by the wa-wa pedal from his electric guitarist were consuming his entire being. It wasn't until after his fourth song that he finally approached the microphone and thanked everyone for coming out to his show. He then explained how earlier in the day he had a freak skateboarding accident in front of a huge crowd of people. His awkward and timid nature was quite endearing for the entirety of the evening. He played eight new songs all of which sounded as though they had great potential. The rest were songs from his debut album Holly that was released in 2007. He is working on his sophomore album entitled, Gray. The release date is still tentative.

-Stephanie Ciotta

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