An Evening with Pete Francis

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“You’re in a bookstore!” Stating the quite the obvious almost every time in between songs, NYC’s very own Pete Francis and his newly-assembled band performed at the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in Downtown Manhattan last Thursday.

I have to admit, it is a pretty charming venue for live music – dimly lit room surrounded by donated books of all kinds, with a few rows of chairs surrounding an intimate stage space. Nothing beats being able to feel and breathe the artists as they transcend us to another plain and field with their music.

Pete and the band performed new songs from his fifth solo album, The Movie We Are In, scheduled to release on May 18th. He worked with producer Jeff Trott, on revamping his sound by bringing in an electronic element into the mix.

As I listened intently with my eyes wide shut, the ebb and flow of every song’s music creates a rush of excitement that sweeps through me. Four plaid-wearing members make up the band with drums, keyboard, guitars and Pete on vocals, with an occasional backup chorus that chimes in harmoniously. To be frank, the jam sessions of each song were the most enjoyable – I almost feel like they should consider to become an instrumental band. They even brought in a guest bongo drummer to close the evening, which was kind of like icing on the cake.

As Pete had once commented, “Hearing an album is similar to visiting a museum. The listener has to have his or her own conversation with the artwork and create their own interpretations.” I was able to run away with the music with every beat of each instrument. Unfortunately, the lyrics didn’t speak to me, and things seem to go out of focus every time the vocals come into play

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