While metalheads and hardcore fans were rockin' out a Spaceland Ballroom last night, across the way at The Space it was another signature acoustic night. Local talent, former member of Therefore I Am, Brian Marquis debuted some new songs from his upcoming album which he hopes to complete next month. He has been recording in California and will go back to the studio when he completes this short tour around his home turf. Prior to last night he played in Rhode Island, Seaford, NY and New Jersey. The tour ends tonight at The Loft in Poughkeepsie.
Marquis has a great voice and knows how to write for it. The only comparison I can come up with is Gordon Lightfoot but much better both lyrically, musical composition and vocal quality. As a New Englander I get almost a sea shanty feeling because you can get work done while singing along and the songs tell a story. Brian is not afraid to poke fun at or be proud of his Connecticut and Massachusetts heritage. He puts himself out there with no regrets or fear. Whether fast rock tune or slow ballad there are guts and passion in every song. Some singer/songwriters can get boring very quickly but Brian has quality tools in his kit and the chops to use them skillfully. The Iron and Wine cover Marquis performed spotlighted his beautiful and well-controlled falsetto. He closed his set with my favorite song of his to date, mainly due to the lyrics, "'84 Rookie Card" which is a great reflection on life in general.
Sean MacNamara from Milford played the lead-in spot before Marquis's set. He is more pop than indie but is a really good way. He has the cred to pull off wearing a fedora to perform and had some really catchy original songs along with doing justice to cover songs. It would be interesting to see him with a band behind him and put some real punch behind his performance.
Watch The Space's site for Brian's future shows here. He will be back in the area around the holidays and intends of doing another "Acoustic Basement Tour" in February on 2014. I can only tease that the line up will include performers from the 2013 Vans Warped Tour Acoustic Basement stage that you will not want to miss especially in an intimate venue.