Last Night, Rocker Stalker Said…: Rocco DeLuca at Roughtrade NYC (9/2/14)

Posted: September 5, 2014 in Entries
Tags: , , , ,

Rocco Deluca is the type of performer who will break and mend your heart all at once. The Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter/slide guitar extraordinaire graced Brooklyn with his presence on Tuesday Setpember 2 at Rough Trade NYC in Williamsburg.  DeLuca has been through a few incarnations over the years.  I first heard his tunes back in  2006 when his band and music were the focuses of a documentary  entitled I Trust You To Kill Me,  featuring  Kiefer Sutherland, who acted as the band’s tour manager during that time.  Now, touring as a duo in support of his latest self-titled album, DeLuca was joined by Johnathan Wright on drums.

Tuesday evening was  a treat to say the least. The opener was an intriguing and interesting Brooklyn-based act called The Loom, who put a twist on “indie rock,” integrating a french horn into their sound.   The softspoken DeLuca and unassuming Wright appeared on the stage after a brief soundcheck, creeping up on the audience with undetectable introductions that  launched into walls of sound that seemed almost impossible to achieve by only two musicians. The  musical chemistry between Wright and DeLuca was undeniable as Wright complimented every nuance in DeLuca’s voice and interwove rhythms into DeLuca’s slide guitar variations and dynamic style. Taking selections from the 2014 release, including hymn-infused “Congregate” entrancing “Through Fire,” and hypnotic “Colors of the Cold,” DeLuca’s ethereal voice ebbed and flowed with such sentiment, made all-the-stronger by the yearning nature of the pedal steel,  that  I was on the verge of tears. Heavily influenced by gospel music and hymns, DeLuca took on John Cleveland’s “God Can Do Anything,” crafting a poetic rendition, complete with exquisite vocal runs that trailed off into whispers,  leaving the audience in entranced awe. In between songs, DeLuca was a man of few words but still managed to mention he “wasn’t into the UK scene,” cracking some jokes about British hipsters, which he would “never live down.” Whatever the case, his Brooklyn fans were forgiving, especially when he played a more hip hop beat-infused version of the favorite, “I Trust You to Kill Me,” title track to the aforementioned album, to complete the set. Compelled by the crowd’s cheers, DeLuca agreed to an encore, but not before expressing his gratitude to the audience, the venue and the incredible sound. Closing the night officially and on a powerfully poignant note, DeLuca chose the radiant and emotive “Nightingale,” a song inspired by Oscar Wilde’s The Dole of the King’s Daughter.

After the show, I chatted with DeLuca briefly about his next tour stops and future NYC plans. He also mentioned liking my nail polish that glowed brightly in the black light, which gets him brownie points. His kind demeanor and approachable attitude was refreshing to encounter in such a talent.

Rocco DeLuca will be on tour through the fall and will be returning to NYC on October 19 for a performance at Rockwood Music Hall. After years of listening to his albums and finally seeing the live show, I highly recommend checking out a gig near you and guarantee that DeLuca’s beautifully powerful artistry will have you hooked in no time.

Meanwhile, check out all things Rocco DeLuca on his website and Facebook!

 

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Comments
  1. Your review perfectly mirrors my experience and sentiments when he and Johnathan performed their tour opener here in Austin, TX on August 22! I had never seen them, but was familiar with the music. LOVED every beautiful moment. I had the chance to talk to Rocco after the show and was honored to be able to tell him his show was the first concert I’ve been able to attend in two years thanks to illness. It might sound corny, but making it to the show was a personal accomplishment. What a reward I received!

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