Review: Saturday’s lineup tested seven newbies, ranging from a neo-soul singer to a glam synth-pop band.
Poetic neo-soul singer/songwriter PaviElle French gave the night’s breakthrough performance. Playing to mostly young indie-rock fans who weren’t even sure how to pronounce her name – her male back-up singers took care of that by chanting it – the St. Paul native turned heads as she stretched her deep, powerful pipes in the long, steady-grooving epic “Runnin’.” Her tight, slow-funk-wins-the-race band made a strong impression, too, including bassist Casey O’Brien and horn players Tony Beaderstadt and Cole Pulice, all from Sonny Knight’s Lakers.
While she frequently throws in cool rock covers that might’ve earned her easy applause in this case — including a Fleetwood Mac cover that would’ve been the second of the night – French stuck to her original tunes, and wisely so. The emotional peak of her set, “Disbelief,” definitively laid out the positive, powerful messages she stands for. Before walking off stage, she seemed to sense the triumphant vibe and thanked her late mother and father for the inspiration as if she had just won an Oscar. There was no acting in this case, though.
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