LP At The Sayers Club
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By Crystal Larsen
For artists, a release party for a debut album must feel a lot like a milestone birthday celebration. It's one of the rare occasions when they'll play a room comprised of equal parts friends, family and fans. And June 3 was no different for pop/rock singer/songwriter LP, who drew a packed crowd to The Sayers Club in Los Angeles to celebrate the release of her first full-length effort, Forever For Now, which I overheard was a labor of love for a year and a half.
As soon as the last guest had filtered into the club's packed showroom, LP emerged with her signature black, curly Bob Dylan-esque hair, a leopard-print blazer and a pair of boots that gleamed of rock star wear and tear.
"You look like Bob Dylan, but hotter," said one person sitting near the front. "I can tell a lot of my friends are here," LP replied with a smile.
Backed by a six-piece band featuring a keyboardist, who doubled on guitar, two percussionists, a bassist, an upright bassist, and a violinist, LP opened with a fiery performance of the album's first song, the make-you-wanna-shout-and-dance track "Heavenly Light." I gazed around the room and noticed nearly everyone was singing along, from her friends and fans to the industry folks who had a hand in the album. And LP made sure she recognized them with sporadic shout-outs, including one to GRAMMY winner Rob Cavallo, who produced the album but was under the weather last night and was unable to attend.
LP also gave kudos to Sayers Club co-creator and curator Jason Scoppa; songwriter PJ Bianco, who co-penned a pair of songs on the album — "Into The Wild," which was featured in a commercial for Citibank in 2013, and "Tokyo Sunrise," which, in my opinion, stole the show. I could see LP reaching for those high notes in the latter, and she hit them on the head, every single time. LP also pointed out songwriting partner Isabella Summers, who co-wrote "Someday," one of the first songs LP ever wrote.
One of her last stories of the night was saved for Warner Bros. Records A&R executive Jeff Fenster, who had a front-row seat and was also singing along to every song. LP credited Fenster, who she first met at South by Southwest in 2006, for taking a chance on her, joking that she didn't have much of a striking appearance to work with.
Earlier in the evening LP spoke about some of the first shows she ever performed, when she'd play covers of Michael Jackson and Led Zeppelin and began to wonder if her audiences thought she could play anything original. There should no longer be any doubt in LP's mind that she's earning her place as a talented songwriter and singer, because she put on a performance to be remembered.
After her last song, "Levitator," which she decidated to her girlfriend in the audience, who met her when she was "just a songwriter," LP graciously thanked the crowd and made her way off the tiny stage, leaving behind a night she should be very proud of.
"One Last Mistake"
"Into The Wild"
"Night Like This"
"Free To Love"