Live Review: staxx brothers
feb. 14 • green frog
Feb. 14 was a very special day, filled with love, gifts of affection, and some pretty epic sweating and gyrating. It was also Valentine’s Day. The Green Frog began filling up pretty early for the show. Everyone had put on their finest flannel coats and wool hats in an attempt to really “put-it-out-there” for this most romantic of forced holidays.
The Brian Hillman band took the stage and immediately people took notice. Styled out for the show complete with a white vest, striped fedora and black tie, Brian could have just as easily been returning from a desert outside of Vegas as getting ready to play his heart out. His voice and the band’s musical style are reminiscent of Jamiroquai and Maroon 5’s more talented love child.
With a helplessly uplifting approach to his lyrical delivery, even on some of the more “somber” tracks (when he is pouring out his soul and his woman is telling him off), there is still a constant and unrelenting feeling of hope, like everything is already back to “cool”. Overused as it is, “cool” is just the right word to describe their presence.
While promoting this show, Davin Stedman had made the declaration that everyone that came to the show was “going to get pregnant.” By the time Brian had finished his cover of “Let’s Get it On” late in their set, a good third of the room was beginning to “show”. Backed by a solid band looking sharp as well in their red ties (save for Tyler Clarke who chose “Bellingham Chique”), their originals and covers all held the audience in rapt appreciation for this White Soul Powerhouse.
Anyone who has ever been to a Staxx Brothers show knows that you must come prepared for anything. Before the first song was half over, Davin was already down in the crowd – not to get them pumped up, but because he feels most at home with the fans. Handing out roses and custom-made Raw Cha Cha chocolate bars (bearing a mini show poster for the label), Davin did his best to channel Al Green and Screaming Jay Hawkins while the Staquettes had some feature time on tracks like James Brown’s “Man’s World”. With each passing track the crowd got more and more drawn in until ultimately someone had to join the band on stage for lack of restraint. Luckily it was Jeremy Elliott (Polecat) and rather than calling for security, the crowd called for more sweat and volume… ultimately sharing a metaphorical cigarette and calling it a night.
The Staxx Brothers are finalizing their upcoming album Hot Chocolate and will perform next on April 25 at The Fairhaven, or sneaking out a back door somewhere in a neighborhood near you.
–Victor B. Gotelaere