Doors opened at 7pm and the line (which was general admission, will call and press all in one) began going in.Â The location?Â The small and intimate standing room only venue known as Webster Hall.Â It’s a place where one would think up and coming new artist fine tune their skills and showmanship before graduating to arenas and major venues.Â There was a working bar (not far from the stage) for attendees to get their drink on and unwind before the show.
The crowd?Â It was mixed with Latinos, Caucasians and African American fans.Â Majority of the crowd appeared to be the 20 something crowd, but there were also some 30 and 40 year olds in attendance.Â As patrons waited for the show to begin, everyone was immersed in conversation with who they were with, sipping from the drinks they bought or both.
Merchadise that was available for purchase (cash only) were a hat (skully type) for $15 as well as a men’s short sleeve t-shirt or a women’s long sleeve shirt (both for $20).Â All 3 itmes had the word GANGSTA (the name of one of Kat’s singles) in a pretty script penmanship.Â There was also a pre-sale card for $10 to download a digital copy of her upcoming debut album, My Garden, on it’s release day which is Jan 13, 2015.
1 dance routine
5 song set
3 African American guys and 1 Asian girl took the stage as the quartet, dancers, performed a dance routine.Â Sandflower (a young lady with exotic facial features) took the stage, mic in hand, as the dancers performed around and behind her.Â Her body hugging white patterned body suit and red hair was a cross between Cleopatra (who I think she was semi going for with the hair) and Milla Jovovich’s character Leeloo from the movie Fifth Element.
Her musical style was dance/electronica and she revved up the crowd which seemed to be responding.Â The final song (the 5th) saw Sandflower and the dancers come off the stage mid song and perform right in front of the crowd.Â As the number was winding down, all were back in stage as each dancer did a solo dance.Â The female dancer, who went last, performed with what looked like a katana blade.Â Overall the opening act was not too shabby.
5 song set
Dressed in a black t-shirt and jeans, singer/songwriter Craig Stickland isn’t the flashy type and could easily be mistaken for a skateboarder.Â He is living proof that a person’s image means nothing because once he began signing I was very impressed because his sound was rich and soulful.Â Aided with just a mic, guitar and keyboard, Craig’s one man set allowed him to connect with the crowd and make his performance feel personal and intimate.
After his first song the crowd had connected and erupted in applause and cheers.Â The crowd really liked him and so did I.Â His third song was a cover of Sam Smith’s hit single “Stay with me” and Craig, with just a guitar, did a very good acoustic rendition of it which would’ve made Sam Smith proud that someone with vocal talented wanted to sing his song.Â He’s an artist who’s career I look forward to following.Â You can follow Craig on instagram @craigstickland and on his websitewww.craigstickland.com
12 song set
3 song encore
The sold-out show was packed shoulder to shoulder from the front of the stage to the back wall.Â Backed by a three man band which consisted of Craig Stickland (who returned to play guitar/keyboard) along with a bassist and a drummer, Cuban American singer/rapper/songwriter Kat Dahlia took the stage to the roar of the crowd, her crowd.Â Dressed in a short black leather dress, sweater vest (with what looked like bird feathers on the front), hoop earrings and hair up in a bun, she looked naturally pretty.Â As she sang her first song the crowd was rocking and multiple cell phones were out as fans recorded her performances.
Watching her run though her songs, Kat seemed to own the stage displaying the confidence of someone ready to share her gift with the world and her fans were very responsive.
The ninth song in her set was a cover of A great big world’s international hit song “Say Something.”Â I always find it interesting when someone covers a song done by the opposite sex and Kat did I pretty rendition of it.Â She also sang two songs in Spanish, Bajo La Tormenta and Tumbao, showcasing that her bilingual talent stretches beyond the English market.
In between songs Kat talked to the crowd sharing her inspirations for the songs she’s written.Â Her lyrics are relate-able as is she and I think it’s that factor that comes across and allows her to really connect with her fans.Â Kat came back out for an encore and performed an additional 3 song set.Â I believe in her and after her show was over I did indeed buy a pre-sale card to get a digital copy of her album on release day (which I showed her after the show to which she covered her face and smiled before thanking me for the support).
Kat Dahlia is someone you should check out now while she’s still an up and coming artist.Â My HOPE is that through word of mouth and being put on a tour for a major artist, the masses will hear and see what I saw last night and embrace her.Â She is talented, she is real and she is DESERVING of a long career in the recording industry.Â Kat Dahlia’s debut album My Garden is scheduled for release on January 13, 2015.Â Follow Kat on Instagram @katdahlia and her website www.katdahlia.com
Watch some of the live performances