Julian Steals the Show

photo by Eric Townsend
I went to see the Damnwells and Ari Hest last night, but their opening act stole the show. Julian Velard is a Brooklyn native, goofier than a waterproof wallet, with more talent in his right pinky finger than my entire right arm. No one knew this guy from Adam, but he stepped up on stage and completely killed for his entire seven song set. Destroyed. Slayed. Any ridiculous adjective for sucking the air out of the room and demanding absolute attention. Just a piano and his amazing voice, full of smoke and soul. Julian is everything I always wanted to love about Jamie Cullum but just couldn't because the songwriting was lacking. His songs are poignant and human, delivered with confident assurance, his voice doing something unexpected and smile-inducing at every turn. If you're somewhere in the path of this tour (dates/locations), you deserve this.

Hilarious review in LA Weekly:
"...megatalent...guaranteed to generate feminine moisture...not so much concocting life dramas as revealing them. Undislikable. "
- LA Weekly

Behind the scenes of making the EP:

Little Demons
A Dream
[from The Movies Without You|buy]


Blogger jeffro said...

I just saw the same show tonight in VA, and Julian Velard was the surprise find of the show for me, too! His voice is incredibly rich and resonant!

11:22 PM  
Blogger Hebrewzzi said...

Was very pleasantly surprised by Mr. Velard. His voice sounds so familiar to me, and I think that's why I like his music. His voice almost has a Lou Rawls/John Sebastian quality to it - very comforting and smooth. If my friend had shut her mouth for a second I would have enjoyed him more, but thankfully I picked up his CD - however disappointingly short it is (would love to hear a full album).

I've seen Ari several times and each time it's a different show - although never falling flat. He's a guy who sounds great by himself or with a full band behind him.

I would have liked to see Julian with some orchestration last night - maybe then the very dead crowd would have sprung to life. But nonetheless, I was very impressed. And hey, he taught Ari how to play the piano - can't beat that!

9:25 PM  

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