Eddie’s Attic might be known as a haven for acoustic singer-songwriters, but there are exceptions to every rule. Like Bleu, who might be a guy with an acoustic guitar, but that guitar comes along with a plethora of pedals for all of his loops and vocal effects. For Tuesday night’s show, he brought along openers Air Traffic Controller and My Radio along with a four-piece string section to back him up.
For this visit to Eddie’s, his second, the set list pulled heavily from his second album, 2002’s Red Head, including “Watching You Sleep,” a personal favorite that I have to say his playing it brought a gleeful tear to my eye. He also did “Why Can’t I Be,” and “I Won’t Go Hollywood”, which you might have heard on the soundtrack to Spiderman and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton, respectively. For the power pop nerds like myself there was a sneak peek of songs written for his forthcoming release To Hell With You, to be backed by a new crowd funding campaign due to launch any day now. The title track, which he played at the show is pretty representative of his sound in that it’s not what it initially seems.
Sonically his songs might sound light and poppy but thematically they can get darker. In this case the song is about a suicidal codependent relationship, where one is so thoroughly in love with a thoroughly awful person that you’re willing to follow them to hell. Not such the up-beat little ditty, now is it? All of this is wrapped up in his signature pop aesthetic while he dances around his pedal boards queuing this, looping that, and flipping on the red, green, or blue lights that run around his well-worn acoustic guitar.
Yes, he has lights on his guitar and giant side burns but he’s not all gimmick and he doesn’t hide behind those effects and loops. Whether designed to prove a point or simply for the fans’ fun of seeing him perform stripped down he did the last few songs of the set “the old fashioned way”. For these he lost the effects, loops, and even the amplification, going completely off mic and showing off a pure and effortless voice.
This sniveling fan girl does have one complaint. The set list, which I swiped after the show, included “It’s Not Over” from his debut album Headroom, but he ultimately cut it, presumably for time. But as disappointments go, I suppose that’s just grasping at straws.