Usually when we get an invite-only email we’re all NONONO IT’S MINE NO SHARESIES, but this event was something @theworld needs to experience. We were lucky enough to attend the launch of Fieldhouse Night at Southside in SOHO (thank you Ryan!). This night was the beginning of, hopefully, many live music networking nights to promote Fieldhouse’s new artists in an intimate setting and absolutely chilled out venue. This space was particularly key for an event like this: there was a very small stage toward the front of the dimly lit room and the checkered floors, candlelight and fake trees almost made us forget we were in cold-ass Manhattan.
When we arrived, it wasn’t long before the first performer, Jess Turner, took the stage. Jess immediately reminded us of Vanessa Carlton and Sara Bareilles. We watched as she sat behind the piano and warmed up the crowd with a few of her original pieces and then a few covers. Her song, “Shakespeare” was so cute and immediately took the crowd in. What a great start to the night!
When Matt Cranstoun took the stage, it was clear that we were beginning to enter the “grown and sexy” (did we just say that?) or at least more adult portion of the night. Equipped with an acoustic guitar and a small backing band, Matt served acoustic folk-realness, with a hint of funk. He moved in an old school, Ray Charles and James Brown way that felt way more genuine than mimic-y. “Tattoo” was definitely one of our favorite songs. With lyrics like “how did we get here…I think it’s my own fault,” Matt gave us just the right amount of emotional overwhelm and angst we like in our music. His energy and power fit the bill of a big stage, big crowd act so we’ll definitely need to see him again. Let’s hope he takes his coat off to stay awhile, though… 🙂
As soon as Caleb Hawley hit the stage, we let out a long-winded yassssss. Caleb was everything we were waiting for and we didn’t even realize it. He looked nothing like what we expected him to sound like. His attire was a blue blazer with a white unbuttoned shirt and khakis (almost like a costume Fred Armisen would wear in an SNL or Portlandia sketch). And then he started singing… Caleb’s voice was a sweet mix of Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars and Prince. His stage presence was on a totally different level. He captured the crowd and put on a show like there were thousands of people in the crowd (I’d be surprised if there were 100). He walked away from his guitar, stepped off of the small stage and started making his way through the crowd, telling us to turn to our lover and “tell them you love them.” It took everything in us to suppress our inner fangirl. The next day, Rachel couldn’t get him out of her head (typical) and forwarded any and all songs to her father who became an insta-fan as well. The unexpected sound of his music is what hooks you. His amazing song, “Little Miss Sunshine” was so uplifting, as well as pleasing to our ears. It starts similarly to an Amy Winehouse “Back to Black” tune and has a catchy chorus about loving the person you are in what a middle school setting. He channels Stevie Wonder in his ode to social justice song, “Would You Even Try.” Looking at pictures and videos do not do his performance justice. Caleb was clearly built for the stage and we’re excited to follow the rise of his career!
Alicia’s Takeaway: Jess was delightful, but I think the small venue zapped some of her energy. Matt is very talented. A few notes/lyrics were off for me, but I still liked his sound anyway. Caleb ruled the night and his is one of my favorite performances to date. (Rachel says, with a roll of her eyes, that I say this for every performance, but it’s true.)