RYAN STAR – San Francisco 4/11/10
Please bring your Vicodin and penis pills to the next Ryan Star show. Sadly, at his performance this weekend at Café du Nord in San Francisco nobody had any. Or at least they weren’t sharing. Similar to KT Tunstall, Star involves rhythm capture to add to his captivating beats on stage. He had claps – check. Drum stick on beer bottle – check. But the pill shaking – that was a problem. Until someone handed over the Advil from her purse. Disappointing. But it still did the trick.
Star opened up for Serena Ryder as she kicked off the first leg of her headlining tour. And the former Rockstar: Supernova contestant on CBS’s reality show proved beyond a doubt that his vocals are out of this world. It’s one thing to speak about a performer’s passion – but this guy had it oozing out of something deeper than a soul. He shuffled from soothing piano to gutsy guitar, and his voice fluctuated from alto to falsetto flawlessly. With just a keyboard and percussion back-up, it was Star and his versatile talent that shined bright on a rainy San Francisco night.
Emotion dripped off older gems like “We Might Fall,” but this night was about a formal introduction to his new material. The album 11:59 drops in a couple months. Tracks like “Last Train Home” and “Brand New Day” seem timeless, while “Breathe” seems to inhale the country’s current condition while exhaling a promise of better things to come. The video for “Breathe” is currently circulating all over the Internet. Ashton Kutcher has Tweeted about it. Vh1 has it in its rotation. The video features real unemployed people looking for real jobs and provides a real opportunity to make that connection. Breatheforjobs.com has been set up matching the characters in Star’s video to their resumes, and hopefully an employer that’s willing to get creative in this down economy.
Star’s set ended with a beautiful ballad called “You and Me.” I hope it makes the new album. I had a great interview with Ryan Star who is as good of a guy as he is musician. He proved in the most incredible way that he truly is willing to earn one fan at a time. It’s a moving story that will be included in a soon-to-come profile piece. No pills needed to read it, although some Kleenex would come in handy.
Written by: Ben Bamsey