Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on May 14th 2010 11:15AM by DJ Lanphier
Working the dimly lit stage at New York's Bowery Ballroom on Thursday night like a funky mash-up of James Brown and Peter Gabriel, singer Francis Farewell Starlite generates undeniable charisma, energy, emotional depth and good old-fashioned star power. His often brooding presence is tempered with a fun athletic bravado in the tradition of the great soul singers, yet there's a soft vulnerability that manages to come through as well.
The music of Francis and the Lights reflects a number of influences -- a mix of soul, '80s pop, world and country -- and they pull it off. 'For Days' and 'In a Limousine' invoke vintage Peter Gabriel while also forging a path all their own. 'It'll Be Better' is a welcome slice of country crooning that slides in nicely, and then there's the funky soul of 'Strawberries' and 'A Modern Promise.' Moving from one genre to another might seem odd to some, but it works as the band achieves a seamless quality. They're great musicians -- and downright fun.
A man of few words -- who's got time when you're busy dancing from one end of the stage to the other? -- Starlite and band (and the lights) got a room full of strangers to dance for an hour and 15 minutes. As the shouts of "We want Francis!" echoed around the room, you couldn't help but feel that the next act for Francis and the Lights was going to be something very interesting.