November 12, 2018 | ° F

Andy Grammer Live with Parachute and Andrew Ripp

A common misconception about Top 40 artists is that they are incapable of executing dynamic live performances without the aid of auto-tune. In a sold-out show at New York City’s Irving Plaza on April 2, Andy Grammer disproved that stereotype, with his electrifying vocals and unique blend of pop tunes that left audience members of all ages dancing and singing along.

The first act on the bill was Andrew Ripp, a solo artist who profusely explained to the audience that he felt out of his element without his band alongside him. As Ripp busted out into an a capella Eminem medley, the crowd was captivated by his unique take on the hip-hop tracks. He transitioned seamlessly into his original material, with the acoustic, “It’s All Good,” highlighting his set.

Parachute, a Virginia-based quintet known best for infusing saxophone and keys into its own blend of American rock, took the stage after Ripp, beginning with “White Dress.” Parachute has toured with an array of acts, from The Cab to The Goo Goo Dolls, and its sound has a strong appeal that carries over well into the live show. Its new single “Hearts Go Crazy,” performed midway through the set, is more of a dance track, lacking the standout piano and strings synonymous with the band. However, Parachute still managed to engage the crowd for the entire performance with their on-stage antics and positive messages in their lyrics.

Finally, Grammer began his 17-song set with “Keep Your Head Up,” an inspiring single about the importance of keeping a positive attitude, despite facing some of life’s most challenging obstacles. From the moment he began, every fan in the crowd was smiling and singing back at Grammer.

With an undeniably strong stage presence, emphasized by his band’s explosive guitar work, Grammer made it clear that he is an artist with the distinctive talent to give him staying power in the ever-evolving music industry. Mixing in a few covers along with his own material kept the audience engaged; Grammer covered the hit “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers and Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop.” It was original tune “Build Me A Girl,” however, that really ended the night on a sweet note, with its soft crooning and romantic lyrics.

Overall, the show boasted an incredible line-up, with each artist sending out positive vibes with their music, leaving audience members smiling and upbeat once the night came to a close. Expect a full-length release from Parachute within the next few months, while Grammer said he expects to be heading into the studio to record a new album later on this year.

Emily Tantuccio

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