CONCERT REVIEW: LAUREN MONROE with RICK ALLEN Set The City Winery in NYC Ablaze with Excitement (March 21st, 2022)

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The musical power couple of Lauren Monroe and husband Rick Allen of Def Leppard fame are both serious players with big reputations. Lauren Monroe is an accomplished musician, healer, noted author, and speaker, while Rick has toured the world countless times over with Def Leppard and sold 100 million albums worldwide. It is no wonder why this couple started working together; it just made sense.

Lauren‘s album, “Under the Wolf Moon,” was released in 2021 with eleven brilliant songs, all with incisive melodies and instilled with a positive message truly worth checking out. Her new single, “Kiss Me Now,” was just released on March 18th, and to celebrate, she scheduled three intimate East Coast performances in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. Tonight’s show in New York was in The Loft at City Winery, a cozy venue where the duo set it ablaze with excitement.

When the lights dimmed, the all too accustomed signal that it was showtime, two familiar figures graced the stage along with Lauren‘s band. They kicked the night off into high gear with “Blaze” from 2008. Wearing a white blazer, black slacks, and an infectious smile, Lauren performed with an aura of confidence and looked as if she was enjoying herself immensely. She poured her heart and soul into the songs as if she was reliving many of the lyrics for the first time. It reaffirmed her ability to examine emotional intimacy while delivering them in a uniquely powerfully and positive way. Lauren‘s voice shined on the slower songs while she sang and played acoustic guitar, then tore through some hard-edged songs without it, like Gary Wright‘s cover of “Love is Alive.” At which point Rick got excited and commented, “Now I get to play loud!”

Throughout her 90+ minute set, which seemed to fly by, Lauren joked with the crowd, her husband, and provided touching insights into the creation of her songs. The intimate part of the show came from the stories she provided as backdrops to many of the songs. The most riveting story came prior to performing “Color of Snow,” which was written about a veteran who was going to commit suicide, but his loving family and community intervened immediately to save him. An emotional story to raise awareness for suicide prevention. Lauren played clean, simple, yet elegant. Her voice was smooth and haunting, which brought the crowd alive on “Blue” and “Big Love.”

Drummer Rick Allen did not play his electronic kit that he uses with Def Leppard. Instead, be used a black drum set yet still played barefoot. He and bassist Steve Uccello kept the pulse almost subliminal, more felt than heard. The band did an excellent job of playing at the same volume as Rick‘s drums putting the bass right in that sweet pocket as not to overpower the guitars or vocals. Guitarist Dylan Rose and keyboardist Tammi Brown darted and dodged with parts that made the most of a minimum number of notes. It was a superb ensemble performance that made a virtue of underplaying. As Lauren and her bandmates lowered the volume on some songs, the temperature in the room rose, pulling the audience closer. She had the crowd singing, tapping their feet, and smiling just by doing what she does best.Allen-Monroe-01

The couple appeared happy being in each other’s company on Monday night’s show. Lauren seems like a down to earth person who people can relate to. Her honesty allows her to understand others’ feelings and speak with kindness. At the end of the night, Lauren‘s positive songs of hope and love connected with the audience, an essential aspect of an enjoyable musical performance.

Lauren‘s new single “Kiss Me Now” can be purchased here.

Please visit the Raven Drum Foundation to donate and help our disabled veterans at this location.

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