Talent simply flows here in New York City. Even in the throes of the most bizarre winter in memory, music thrives. Given the ever expanding musical climate, many musicians are forced to formulate their own unique path. This comes in handy when they are attempting to promote their individuality in both style and music. Nick Blaemire is one of these folks who seems to be creating his own genre with the spotlight on ‘nerd-soul.’ This past weekend, in an effort to bring awareness to his latest EP ‘The Ampersand’ with its accompanying single Evaporate, the man made it known that he was hard at work. Proof of his additional flair as a live performer was unleashed at Rockwood Music Hall where he gave it his all with his musical colleagues; Chris Leon, Julie McBride, Eric Day and Phil Coiro.
There was not a person rushing to Rockwood that night who was not frozen to the bones from the unusually gusty Saturday. Warmth came easily, however, once listeners arrived to Stage One to fogged up windows. A boisterous and enthusiastic evening crowd greeted wanderers as they entered taking off their jackets to grab a well-deserved drink. The deafening mingling was at its peak as Nick and crew swiftly set up on stage. Sporting his classic specs, Mr. Blaemire, with a grin on his face handed out the setlist to his band. Every minute that passed welcomed even more people as a blinding flash from a photographer in the back of the room startled many. It was a bustling crowd filled with optimistic laughter. Finally, the show was set to begin.
Nick’s band casually started by strumming up their instruments. Mr. Blaemire gave his bandmates high fives just as the glowing red and purple lights came back to illuminate the impressive collection of musicians on stage. With a slight head bob and some scattered cheers, Julie on the keys gave the smooth introduction. Rhythm and blues took things off as Nick kept his hands in his sweatshirt pockets. However, that sweatshirt hardly lasted a song as it was thrown off with a flourish. His music from there was infused with Phil’s strong beats paired with an unusual ethereal feel. Then again, the flair was added as rap entered the equation followed by a groovy flow. It was easy to bounce to the tunes early on. Daniel J. Watts came on stage and won people over with some slick hip-hop. Instrumental rock followed behind Daniel as he rapped on with a soulful twist that complimented his relaxed style. What made it even better was Nick’s duet with him to follow.
Synths began a whirring loop supported by a bass thrill from Eric that transitioned into pop-soul. Yes, Mr. Blaemire and his band somehow blended genres all over the place to introduce an original score of fascinating bits. There was always an underlying swaying groove in each one of Nick’s tunes supported by Chris’ guitar licks. Right in the middle of the sway, the catchy synths would pop up side stepping with the guitar. All of it was a very entertaining mix. There may have been a slight disco vibe that somehow worked in a beautiful way. People felt good listening to this stuff. Eventually, a soul-trip song came through as Nick showcased his Buddy Holly stage persona through and through. Towards the middle of his set, there seemed to be an almost operatic style as Nick’s sang high with long ambitious solos at hand.
Another phenomenal musical guest, Lilli Cooper, sang another rap banter tune with Mr. Blaemire. Again, soul was apparent all around especially when Lilli had her stunning solos. You could not stop listening or looking at this woman in awe. Nick raised his singing skill to a high falsetto until a rendition of Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling made dancing in step a priority. Naturally, smiles were once more thrown on every face. There was shoulder to shoulder standing as the small room became even more packed. While this was Nick’s night, Mr. Watts may have been a highlight of the evening as he gave a spoken-word poetry slam that tackled a clear theme titled, ‘Darkness and Light.’ It was a hopeful message with a slight warning included. A somber tune followed, which turned into funky glory filled with harmonies between Nick and Miss Cooper. It was an amazing way to end an already astonishing event.
If this sounds like a fun time, go out and see Nick rock at it again. He will be another musical beacon in these times alongside his equally talented contemporaries. Music is strong and the people behind it are simply making it even stronger like Mr. Blaemire. Go dance and have a good old time.