Sunday, September 22, 2013

LIVE FROM NEW YORK: Pastele and Tara Harrison at Santos Party House

Ms. Tara Harrison
There's nothing quite like a live, intimate performance in a club setting. That's exactly where I was last Thursday night -- at Santos Party House on the Lower East Side of Manhattan -- to see an artist I've supported for a long time. I went to Santos to see my girl Pastele perform and left loving a brand new artist, Tara Harrison, that you all should really get to know.

Santos Party House is one of those venues that just feels like old school New York City. It's dark, it's smokey, and some of the seats look a little worse for the wear (if you get what I'm insinuating and I think you do). Basically the whole joint looks like it's got a layer of grit and grime on it. Glittering discoballs hang all over the performance space which could fit no more than around 450 people comfortably, flanked with two bars on either side of the stage. It's a prime space for raw, indie artists to perform and flesh out their sounds -- and that's what I was lucky enough to witness.

First up was a soulful vocalist by the name of Tara Harrison. Dressed in a black and white striped, long-sleeved crop top, high-waisted cheetah print pants and some killer pumps, Tara immediately exuded a relaxed cool. Accompanied by simply an acoustic guitarist and two background singers, Tara's five-song set felt more like storytime as she warbled into the microphone while perched on a tall stool.

Her musical style was akin to a happy mixture of Rihanna's best balladry ("Stay", "Unfaithful"), Alicia Keys's controlled retro fair ("Teenage Love Affair") with a relaxed reggae-flavored flair and bite (think Brick & Lace). Tara herself is from Jamaica and raised in NYC and her sound felt authentic and honest. Much of her material was inspired from a breakup -- my favorite being the assertive "New Car".

Tara literally oozed charm -- it radiated off of her in waves. It's fair to say she won over quite a few new fans that night, myself included. Watch her perform the song via the video I took above.

Ms. Pastele
Following Tara's stellar set, my girl Pastele took the stage. Rather than flanked by two dancers like she was when I saw her last, she seemed to be developing a new stage personae that is less dance pop and more dance rock (think Gwen Stefani with No Doubt or Fefe Dobson)

Her stage attire reflected this influence in the best way possible. Wearing a printed, cropped tank top and printed leggings and some killer, sparkly sneakers, Pastele slinked on stage with a full, all-male band at her sides (drum kit, keyboards, guitarist, bass guitar).

Eschewing previous material (including her most recent single "Art Attack" whose video premiered back in July), Pastele performed five brand new songs, four of which feature this new dance rock sound. The fifth -- a ballad called "Torn" -- was the setlist's middle and showed off a softer, more vulnerable side. My personal favorite of the night was the bouncy "Roll In It", a surefire contender for the next song to get the Pastele video treatment. Another popular pieces was the finale in "Masterpiece", a tongue-in-cheek little ditty complete with hip swivels. Her complete set list featured "Roll In It", "Jump", "Torn", "Psycho" and "Masterpiece." Check out "Roll In It" below.

Overall, it's such a fun experience to see promising new artists do their thing in such a small, intimate space. Here's to what's next! For more on Tara Harrison and Pastele, you can follow them on Twitter via @IAMtaraharrison or @CityofPastele, respectively. My thanks to Pastele and her team for their love and support!

Check out and subscribe to my YouTube channel to view all the videos I took from this fun night. As always, you can follow along with my New York adventures via my Instagram or my Twitter.

No comments:

Follow Me on Instagram via @melismaticdiva