Photo: Jesse Carmody
Zak Waters At Towne Hall
Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.
By Brent Burns
Los Angeles native singer/songwriter Zak Waters kicked off the first of his Secret Weekends, a series of monthly showcases featuring the finest indie art and music, on Sept. 7 at Towne Hall, a unique 2,000-square foot community venue hidden on an industrial block in downtown Los Angeles. To enhance the creative feeling of each Secret Weekend, Waters is working with artist/promoter Baha Danesh, who is known for her L'art Pour L'art art shows.
The first Secret Weekend began with tunes from top-tier DJs and local acts, including high-energy folk duo Baywood, who entranced the crowd with a vibrant display of sounds and images across the stage and walls of the Towne Hall. Later, a new set of mysterious musicians took the dimly lit stage and began tuning their instruments. It was Waters and his band, who treated the crowd to a surprise performance. Standing with his side turned to the audience and hunched over his Yamaha M08 keyboard, Waters swayed side-to-side as the band crashed seamlessly into their hot-tempered dance-floor sensation "TNT." The crowd's roar seemed to stretch the walls with excitement, while Waters occasionally glanced over his shoulder to reveal an oversized smirk at the sea of arms in the air.
By this time, the crowd was pressed against the stage dancing freely despite being packed together like a box of crayons. The energy came in waves, slowing down at moments where Waters shared his appreciation for the astounding turnout of supporters, which clearly put the venue over capacity.
The band effortlessly showcased their ability to mesmerize with either fast-paced musical spats or mellow grooves. Every time the warm lights were flashed on the crowd, an endless sea of smiling faces dripping with sweat and lingering excitement was visible. During Waters' performance of DJ/producer Madeon's "The City," a track on which Waters contributes vocals, I had a true awe-inspiring moment. Not only did I have the opportunity to see one of my favorite artists perform, but I was part of one of his latest musical creations, an impressive arrangement of talent and ambiance that rivals that of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival's Sahara Tent.
Waters also teased the crowd with a few new songs from his forthcoming new album, due later this year, including "Runnin' Around," which will be the first single from the album released with a music video due next month. Make sure you catch Waters' spotlight performance on "Last Call With Carson Daly" on Oct. 3.
"Heartbreak In The Making"
"Skinny Dipping In The Deep End"
"Move On Up"
"The City" (Madeon cover)
"In The Kitchen With The Lights On"
(Brent Burns is the dance/electronica GRAMMY.com Community Blogger.)