This past Tuesday night it could have been 2007 all over again at The Space in Hamden. That was when Teddy Geiger's single "For You I Will (Confidence) was all over the radio. The video seemed to run non-stop on MTV. Geiger was the quintessential teen heart-throb and it seems that tall, dark-haired, blue eyed crooners are still a staple for the 14-21 year olds looking out over the audience in 2012.
Yes, Teddy is back but he's definitely matured from the 17 year old who first hit the scene. Although his set include songs from "Underage Thinking", his first studio album; "These Walls, "A Million Years", "Night Air" and "Gentlemen" have grown up with the artist. The deeper passion that comes with living more of life was evident in the performance. Geiger also shared a number of tracks from his yet-to-be-finished new album "The Last Fears". "Figure It Out", "Return To Me", and "Home" all bear Teddy's signature sound but, as mentioned in his interview, the lyrics contain the stories of being scared then facing down those fears. Geiger borrowed the audience to record "gang vocals" for one track that is still in production. He gave out an email address for anyone who wishes to be included in the song credits. The final of Teddy's three-song encore was, of course, "For You I Will (Confidence)" which resulted in that "Kum Ba Yah" campfire sing-along moment but it had to happen. It was a perfect ending to the night.
Talking about the new record, Teddy took a couple of moments between songs to explain that the project is still in the works and that people can go to his "Pledge Music" site to continue to help fund the recording, production and distribution. This album is DIY and "Pledge Music" allows artists to offer perks, similar to Kickstarter, to contributors.
As for the overall quality of Teddy Geiger's live show? The first thing noticed is that, like a few other artists, his live vocals are much 'brighter' than recordings of his voice. Combined with his genuine passion for singing made for a better musical experience. Instrumentally, for this show, Teddy shared his experience and skills on piano and guitar. Both conjured memories of his stories about not practicing assignments from music teachers but writing and practicing his own compositions. He uses a bit of a heavy hand on the keys but beats the instrument into submission in a manner that is actually a very pleasant experience. Guitar is also played well. Geiger has another touring guitarist with him, Marcus, and their playing compliments each other very nicely. If one watches and listens for it they can feel the writing process Teddy spoke about, constructing lyrics and melodies by taking pieces and parts from other songs. It's not to say that he is some majorly complex singer-songwriter, but he definitely sets himself apart from most and proves that he does deserve to be signed, playing on the radio and touring either with bigger headliners or solo.
Two of the opening acts deserve mention here. Local singer-songwriter, Brett Steinberg, from Cos Cob, CT has some serious potential. Each of his songs had personality and originality. He's got a sense of humor in his music and his stage presence. The other artist, Jesse Ruben, is a Space veteran and part of the Berklee circle that includes Kyle Patrick and Alexis Babini. Jesse is a seasoned artist who has built a catalog that now includes some definite staples such as "Bleeker and 6th". He writes from his life, giving insight into living in New York City, going to college and seeing friends through tough times. Yes, every singer-songwriter goes there but Jesse does it with heart and the talent not to have every song sound like the last one. He's also a master at stage banter. Whether he's recounting an anecdote from his daily life or asking people to pledge to the charity his runs for in the New York Marathon, he grabs attention and keeps it without being rude, brash or egotistic.