Gabriel At Harvard & Stone, Thursday July 19th 2018
Gabriel may be God’s messenger in the Jewish scriptures, but singer songwriter Gabriel is actually a passionate and engaging performer. Last night, he was celebrating the release of his EP ‘Love Live Here’ in the cozy bar Harvard and Stone, in the heart of Hollywood, and he certainly proved that his catchy music is an interesting twist on pop Americana.
I had already listened to the EP, so I was already familiar with his music, but it’s different to experience the songs like, and I always get a second impression, as he sang his hooky ‘Baby it’s You’ with the same visceral delivery than Matt Henderson of Manhattan Murder Mystery (a genuine indie artist famous for his wild antics). On stage, Gabriel was more restraint but he demonstrated great confidence with expressive gesture, surrounded by a full band including Tony Matteucci of The Dogs on drums.
‘Another Night’ had something from the famous Allman Brothers’ tune, ‘Melissa’, while ‘Boy With a Gun’ was the song with the most obvious departure from the rest of the EP, expressing a sort of New Wave-y vibe, and embracing one of our society’s most disturbing problem: ‘A boy with a problem A boy with a gun/Tragedies they pile up high, a nation is stunned’, sang Gabriel with conviction.
if the sound of his music is mostly upbeat and the songs heartfelt, the lyrics fully reflect the times we live in, ‘I listen to world news and my head’s about to explode/No plans for the future I’m stuck in the past’, he sang during ‘Take Me To Heaven’, which fully embraced a catchy pop chorus, while ‘Beautiful Sunset’ got a bit more rock ‘n’ roll with its John Mellencamp vibe.
Proud of his Latino origins (he was wearing a humorous ‘Bad Hombre’ shirt) Gabriel played his entire EP, ending with the explosive ‘Whose Life’ and a country slide guitar. With ‘Love Lives Here’, Gabriel is a messenger of hope for our difficult times, he doesn’t say everything will be fine, but, at least, we have the music to dream of a better world.