Joe Brooks, The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood, CA., May 7, 2011
Joe Brooks is a supremely talented singer/songwriter from the UK who has been making a name for himself here in the States due to his wonderfully catchy songs and exhilarating live shows. The sold out performance at the legendary Roxy on the Sunset Strip clearly cemented the fact that hard work and perseverance has paid off big time for this passionate artist. Even being dropped from a record label has only served to make Joe Brooks a more sought after artist on the rise. Definitely a star making night – if there were A&R types in the audience, there is no doubt that Brooks will find himself signing onto the dotted line once again – if he so desires.
Although Joe Brooks could easily be mistaken for a teen idol, just one listen to his songs signifies a truly gifted artist in it for the long haul. There is a timeless qualities to Brooks’ songs that render them endearing to music aficionados from all walks of life. That being said, there were certainly a lot of girls in the audience screaming and singing along to each and every Joe Brooks composition. The earplugs I was wearing were of little use when it came to just how impassioned the fans are over the performer’s artistry. And one could see the genuine love and respect Brooks has for those who have followed his career as well.
Focusing on songs from his vastly underrated Constellation Me debut, Joe Brooks and his new band were amazingly tight and delivered a wonderful hour long set. Kaleidoscope was a highlight, a song Joe stated he wrote about the complexity and beauty of California girls. Holes Inside demonstrated a sweet sincerity as well as Brooks’ knack for writing a moving pop song.
Towards the end of the set, Brooks and band presented the should-be mega hit Superman, which had the crowd singing along to it’s wistful refrains. Rules Of Attraction was vivid and elusive with its freewheeling lyrics and infectious melody. The set ended all too soon, with Brooks performing the introspective These Broken Hands Of Mine with just his expressive voice and an acoustic guitar.
After the set, Joe Brooks hung out for quite a while, posing for pictures with fans and signing everything that was being placed in front of him. Why this talented individual isn’t as well known as a John Mayer or Jacks Mannequin is perhaps the greatest mystery yet to be solved. The time to unravel this puzzle is now – so be sure to check out the outstanding music of Joe Brooks and see his live shows in the smaller venues while you still can. Rest assured he will appreciate the support just as much as you’ll admire the various songs in his reportiore. Definitely an artist who places his heart and soul into everything he does.
(Review and Photos by Kenneth Morton)
Joe Brooks Official Home Page