CONCERT REVIEW: LAUREN MONROE Brings A Testimony to The Power of Music at the City Winery (November 9th, 2022)

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Lauren‘s show at City Winery in New York City on November 9th was just one of a handful of dates on the East Coast to promote her critically acclaimed album, “Messages from Aphrodite”. It’s a collection of musical stories told with raw emotion and captivating vocals that reflects her deep empathy for others, particularly those dealing with grief and losing loved ones. Within each song, Lauren provides a message of love and hope.

This evening, Lauren appeared on stage smiling, waving to the audience, and pointing to the ones she recognized. You could instinctively tell by the look on her face that this would be a fun-filled performance, as it was a warm and personable way to greet this NYC crowd. Reflecting on the strength of her voice and the lower volume acoustic guitar, the beauty of her show in making that emotional connection with her audience. It’s been a little over six months since fans have seen her perform, and they were eager for her to delve into her new songs and the stories behind them.

Lauren‘s band includes Dylan Rose [guitarist], Tammi Brown [keyboardist], Steve Uccello [bassist], Javier Torres [drums], and her husband, Rick Allen of Def Leppard, fame on drums as well. Once Lauren had everyone’s attention, the guitarist and singer kicked into her first song, “Blaze,” and quickly started her journey to form a close relationship with the audience. She did it successfully by keeping it simple while strumming her acoustic guitar and singing. The act was rich with meaning as it called to mind the themes of love, hope, and positivity throughout the show.

Photo by Robert Cavuoto

During her set, she navigated songs between her Americana roots with “When the Rain Comes” and “Blue” to the more straight-up rock songs like “Void of Course” to a country-pop song with “If You Want.” The sustained energy and spontaneity between her and the band throughout the evening contributed to this rewarding experience. When she wasn’t joking with the audience or her band, she told life stories with positive mantras. We all need to hear Lauren‘s message, in the figurative and literal sense, and share it with others; perhaps the world would be a nicer place!

Although she was the show’s primary focus, Lauren shared the spotlight with the other musicians for their respective solos while frequently pausing to praise them. Her band covered the typical drums, guitar, bass, and keyboards, but these talented musicians brought variety and depth to her songs. The band was equally good on the faster and slower songs, the simmering “Kiss Me Now,” and the rocker of “Big Love” as Lauren‘s unfaltering voice soared.

Throughout the show, Rick proudly watched Lauren perform from behind his kit. It was a tremendous opportunity for his fans to see him play up close, considering a few months ago, he was rocking out to 50,000 people in stadiums as the Thunder God. Tonight, his playing was smooth, tasteful, and almost jazz-like, designed to complement the songs’ needs while laying down a steady rhythm.

Lauren paid homage to Lucinda Williams by performing “Can’t Let Go” and then closed the show with “Calling All Angels” by Jane Siberry. You could hear a pin drop as she performed this song with her intensity and warm, smooth vocals.

Photo by Robert Cavuoto

Lauren is a powerfully expressive vocalist and gifted songwriter. That came sharply into focus in the night’s final stretch of songs which included “Sparrow,” which is about connecting with the spirit of loved ones who have passed, and “Color of Snow,” which was about a community who rallied together to help a veteran who was considering suicide as a way out! Songs like this made it easy to forget anything existed outside the walls of the City Winery.

Leaving the glow of the venue, it became clear that Lauren’s show was the perfect escape with her lyrical storytelling. She loved performing and connecting with the audience on more than just a performer-audience relationship as she quickly transformed from celebrity to friend. Her voice filled the venue and simultaneously touched the hearts of her fans. It was a reminder of just how much great music she has created and how inspiring a live show can be. She is one of the few acts that come across as both timely and timeless. Make sure to catch Lauren Monroe & Co. for their uniquely entertaining show.

Rick and Lauren, along with the Raven Drum Foundation, continue their mission to provide trauma recovery and healing for veterans. In support of this effort, their 2nd annual charity auction, 12 Drummers Drumming, went live on Veterans Day, November 11th. Please visit 12drummersdrumming.org to view the incredible one-of-a-kind available items and get your bids in. The charity auction runs through December 12th.

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