The California Consortium of Song: Playhouse Sessions II (Concert Review)
May 17, 2018 by 1888media
As the sun set over the glorious golden shore of the Pacific ocean, The California Consortium of Song flowed into motion. As the gaze of amber rays gave way to night on the west side, eager fans gathered in the round at the historic Santa Monica Playhouse, four blocks from the beach, to witness the pomp and circumstance of the second edition of Playhouse Sessions, a semi-annual concert production hosted in conjunction with The Miracle Foundation, which provides Arts Education & Community Outreach in the Greater Los Angeles area.
Armed with an acoustic guitar and a sublime voice, Boston born/Nashville transplant Hayley Reardon opened the evening with her sweetly painted introspection delivered with effervescent conviction. Treating the audience to heartfelt anecdotes before each song, highlights included “Everything Else,” “Bethany,” “Forgiveness,” “200 Years Old,” a song she wrote for her beloved grandmother, who had a lifelong love of Patsy Cline, and a poignant, thought-provoking, update of our country’s cherished classic, “America The Beautiful,” filtered through the lens of recent history, a modern state of the union.
When it gets released in time for the 4th of July, it’s sure to become an anthem. Being her first ever show in LA, she also dipped into her catalog, offering breathtaking renditions of “Ghost” and “Would You Wait” from her 2016 album, “Good,” which Performer Magazine dubbed, “Brilliantly moving folk/pop with a lyrical depth and soul.”
Over the course of their mystical expedition, Low Anthem, Zeppelin, Bowie, and Ennio Morricone, all delightfully came to mind. From the soft embrace of “Siren,” to the majestic esoteric resonance of “Sea of Light (Dirty Ditty),” to the vivid waves of “For Me, For You,” to the captivating caress of “The Golden Shore,” to the theatrical dynamism of “More Machine Than Man,” We Are The West sailed the high seas of ecstasy, elegantly.
Flanked by lead guitarist Carlos Calvo, a Hollywood Film & TV Coach who’s taught Adam Levine, David Duchovny, Ambyr Childers, and others, to play guitar, the band is a well-oiled machine, with mind-melting machinations emanating from keyboardist Jason Libs, bassist Carlos Costa, and drummer Sam Aliano, known for his work with Billy Sheehan, Nuno Bettencourt, and Slash.
Summits of their sixty-minute set included the Paul McCartney-flavored “Good As Dead,” the moody Eagles-tinged “Man With Many Names,” the soul-soothing “Then It’s Gone,” the feel-good, finger-snapping shuffle of “The New, New Face,” the emotional tour-du-force, “Tyranny of Beauty,” which has a gorgeous Grateful Dead sounding outro, and the George Thorogood boogie of “Out and About,” which Morrow told the audience, was featured in an episode of the TV show, The Fosters.
The crowd and crowned became one as pure joy abound, and in that moment, the universe zeroed into focus. These are the moments that make it all worth it. House lights up, good vibes imbibed. Friends, family, music and community, we left with the only thing we need. Exile from the mainstream.