March 20th was supposed to be a night like any other night. Hoping to stay dry under an ominous-looking sky, Angelino’s of all kinds sought refuge from the rain under the roof of one of the city’s most promising new venues, The Moroccan Lounge. But little did the crowds know, that The Moroccan housed more than good tunes, tasty beers, and hummus platters. For The Moroccan Lounge, just off the 1st Street bridge, is haunted!
At least, so the rumors go. But if there were any stray ghosts in attendance at Natalie Prass’ show the other night, they were far too busy grooving out to pop-folk perfection, to bother scaring buzzed millennials. After a wonderful opener from surf/folk/pop/rock act, Jackie Cohen, Natalie Prass and her band took the stage. Donned in a pink satin dress with matching tie, Prass smiled to the screaming crowd as she and her blue suit wearing band started into “Oh My.” Though “Oh My” comes off of Prass’ new album, The Future and the Past, fans had no trouble getting down to the song’s groovy guitar licks and thumping basslines.
From there, Prass and her boys in blue slowed things down with another new song, “Hot for the Mountain.” After winding down the final notes, Prass addressed the crowd, promising her set would include plenty of songs from her forthcoming album, many of which she hasn’t played live. In quick succession, Prass and company ran through, “Birds of Prey,” “Never Too Late” and “Ship Go Down.”
Under cotton candy-colored lights, everyone from the band and the crowds, to the ghosts in the walls bounced their heads and tapped their feet. If it wasn’t Prass leading the charge with swaying dance moves and her confectionary voice, it was guitarist Alan Parker’s shredding licks, Erick Slick’s thumping percussions or Dominic Angelella’s funky bass getting the venue to groove along.
After such a stellar opening half, Prass slowed things down with a tribute to Karen Carpenter in, “Far From You.” For this one, Parker, Slick and Angelella took five, leaving Prass and pianist Jacob Ungerleider under the dimly lit lights. The percussion-less track highlighted both the beauty of Prass’ voice as well as her incredible vocal control which helped make the song an emotional one for fans and performers alike. With no plans to end things on a somber note, the band rejoined on stage to finish off the evening with some more upbeat pop-funk. Prass continued with her newest single, “Short Court Style” before reaching back into the past for the last few tracks.
The highlight of the evening, though, came at the second to last song, “My Baby Don’t Understand Me,” which had the crowd singing the chorus without direction or input from Prass. It was a tender moment and one that only an intimate venue like The Moroccan can produce. Whether a diehard or a newcomer, nearly everyone in the room was singing along.
With only one song left, Prass dedicated it to the ladies, and played “Sisters,” off her new album. And perhaps it was tired eyes playing tricks, but as the crowd filed out to face the night, it almost looked as if a handful of Natalie Prass shirts lifted off the merch table and floated away on their own accord. Dead or alive, it’s hard not to become a fan after a show like that one.
- Oh My
- Hot for the Mountain
- Bird of Prey
- Never Too Late
- Ship Go Down
- Far From You
- Short Court Style
- Why Don’t You Believe In Me
- My Baby Don’t Understand Me