Friday, December 3, 2004

Gabrial Young Cd release party

Disclaimer: Although I have known Gabe for years through my brother, I never heard him play until June, so none of the appearant bias is due to any loyalty to Gabe.
This wasn't the first time I heard Gabrial Young, but I still continue to be impressed by there unique sound and talent. I don't really know how to descibe them except maybe as pop folk with some similarities to John Mayer, Josh Grogan, and Gavin Degraw.
It's obvious that Gabe Zobanos and Kaylen Nash still have some kinks to work out when it comes to there live shows and musical technique, but they still put on an impressive show. Or rather maybe its not so obvious that they have kinks to work out. The show tonite was in the Steny-Stoval chapel and althought it has seats like a regular auditorium its still my favorite venue in Athens just becuse of the acoustics. Like all venues in Athens ( save the Classic Center and a few churches) its nice and small as well. Gabrial Young's style tends more toward a smaller more intimate venue; I'm not really sure how much I would enjoy a show in a larger space. Gabe and Kalen have a tendancy to talk to the audiance which I like, except as the former high school classmate that I was with (whom we'll call Drew to protect the guilty) pointed out, "most of what Kalen says is really stupid", probably because he tends to get nervous. Gabe is usually pretty entertaining and the rapport between them is pretty good and should improve with time.
Musically they were pretty amazing. Gabe is known for his acousitc guitar playing abilities, but he played piano on a few numbers, as well as electric guitar. His voice was even featured on one song, something Drew and I both agreed should happen more often. Gabe doesn't seem to think he has a very good voice, but if I rember correctly he went to all-state choir in high school, something I was never able to do despite being well known for my singing.
Not that any of that really means anything.. but he certainly didn't make anyone's ears bleed.
They played all the crowd favorites including Sallie's song, Samoan, and Don't Wait on the Rain.Most of the songs they played are either on the album Sidewalks and Dirtroads (review coming) or were realeased online as part of a live concert, but there were a few new songs tonight as well. I don't remember the names of any of these, but one of them was the song that featured Gabe's voice. After a standing ovation Gabe and Kalen played an encore of an instumental that has become the standard way they end shows (DAGAD). And this is something I'm not real thrilled about. I seem to be the only one. It's nice and it shows off some of their technique, but it sounds like more of an exercise than a song. It also continues to build and build and build. And never get anywhere. I like it, I just wish they wouldn't end with it, because it's not my favorite.
I only have a few beefs with the concert, and these are mostly nit picky. Kalen is real good at kissing the mike, but Gabe seems almost afraid of it, to the point where no one can here him. The other thing which I mentioned before is that Kalen says some really stupid things or says things stupidly. Gabe occasionally does this, but he's better at making a joke out of it. Sometimes there's dead space while Gabe's tuning one of his guitar's . Not very often though. The other beef I have is that there is a particular song at a particular point in the chorus, where Kalen's voice cracks. I know it so well, I've come to expect it, and when I'm not paying attention I treat it like part of the song.
When all is said and done it was an awsome night and if you missed it I'm sorry. If you've never heard the boys I encourage you to check out their website at . They've got an awsome fan friendly site, with lots more information than I could ever give. They're working hard for their dream and I'm sure they'll make it . I consider it an honor and a privilege to be able to say I knew (at least Gabe) them then, and think it very exciting to hear them now, and I'm sure you will too.

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