Bryan McPherson Show Review
By Harriet Kaplan
Nothing could replace the urgency, immediacy and impact of having an artist perform their music right in front of an audience at a record store. Scheduled to originally perform at Boardners in Hollywood, CA, Bryan McPherson’s show was cancelled due to a pay-to-play policy that he swiftly denounced on his official Facebook page. So other arrangements were made. Instead, Vacation Vinyl in Silverlake, CA., hosted the show featuring the folk/punk troubadour. McPherson concluded his three-month tour in Los Angeles promoting his latest LP, Wedgewood, on high note. He also performed two songs from “American Boy, American Girl” – “Acid Rain” and “Black Man.” His material combines Americana, folk, alternative influences into an explosive and emotionally-charged package. Set highlights included the incendiary “Days of Rage,” Burn It Down” and “Here We Go.” The Boston, MA born singer/songwriter played acoustic guitar and harmonica with all the sweaty, passionate intensity and fire he could muster. It was clear being on the road didn’t tire him out one bit touring in a van. The performance was bursting with high energy and was combustive from beginning to end. He spoke animatedly between songs giving his opinions on various topics such as reflecting on the self-focused nature of L.A. residents to his disdain for pay-to-play policies. McPherson also expressed his gratitude toward the audience that came to see him and thanked the opening acts Louise Distras and Billy Brown who supported him on the tour. In an recent e-mail interview with BOC, McPherson stated he didn’t want to be labelled as a protest singer, but many of the song lyrics, sound/read like a revolutionary’s call to arms. The material is very timely talking about society’s ills and the restless nature and mood in the world around us and frustration of all its citizens.