Kent Odessa @ the Knitting Factory

When: March 13th, 2013

I looked at my calendar and thought, "Damn, I'm wide open this week."  While a bit of time away from the nightlife and booze was doing me well, I just couldn't bear the thought of a week going by without seeing something live.  Came across Kent Odessa on the Knitting Factory website.  After watching a couple videos and test driving some tracks, I plunked down a few clams to catch his act. 

When I arrived I joined a small crowd to watch the opening act, Black Onassis.  These guys were going for broke and had an enormous sound.  The visuals behind them were colorful and well done and they seemed thoroughly into themselves.  I was feeling it.  Chris Karloff, the former guitarist for Kasabian, led the aural assault for this threesome.  They sounded seriously big.  Huge drums, walls of guitar, echoing samples, and a bassist who played like Colin Greenwood.  As impressive as they were, I was baffled by the vocals.  Each song had a different singer, none of which were there.  The vocals were previously recorded and played over their live performance.  I'm not talking snippets.  I'm talking entire songs with verses, choruses, bridges, etc.  For me, it made the experience unique, but not necessarily in a good way.  Once I watched this video I had a better understanding, but still, not having a frontman is a tough sell for a live performance with vocals.  The music was pretty powerful stuff though.  I'll be keeping an eye on how things develop for Chris and the boys. 

Kent Odessa is a one man band.  I mean, he had a band playing his music when he performed, but on his album he wrote, recorded and played it all on his own.  Way to go, Kent!  Big fan of when people just fucking do it.  It takes balls to make something and put it out there with no other band mates to blend in with.  My soft spot for self producing artists played a part in my choosing his show and how I perceived it.  He has a knack for making catchy, funky, electronic music with lyrics much deeper than your average radio cheese.  He also has a great sense of humor, which I always enjoy.  Lastly, Kent loves to cut a rug.  Throughout his performance he busted one move after another.  He'd do a little shuffle to the front, follow that with a lazy moonwalk across the stage, toss in a spin, thrust his hips at the girls in front, and then get back to singing.  

What he lacked in actual dancing ability he made up for in personality.  Kent just seems like a guy you wish you knew.  He's got that magical blend of not taking himself too serious, but still having substance.  His music was smooth from start to finish.  While he was singing and swinging, the three piece with him did a great job.  Everything sounded clean and groove heavy.  And good lord, his female backup singer was a knockout who sang like a bird.  I ended up doing a bit of dancing myself and left with a smile on my face.  Kent came through.  Oh, and he turned 32 on the night I saw him, thus the title of this post (it gets tough naming these things).