Center Stage was buzzing with excited fans anxiously waiting for Eric Hutchinson to perform his Almost Solo tour. They were already humming and singing his lyrics to get into the mood. When Eric finally walked on, he headed straight to the piano and began his set with a lively rendition of “Ok, It’s Alright With Me.” Fans immediately stood up from their seats and started clapping their hands to the beat to one of his popular hits.
After the piano, Eric picked up his guitar and belted out “Best Days” and “Talk is Cheap” from his newest album Moving Up Living Down. He chimed in and announced that his newest album was just named “Best Album of the Year.” Everyone clapped and then Eric coolly admitted that he dubbed his own album the ‘best album’ label and gave it 4 out of 5 stars to be fair. The crowd laughed and screamed back in support of his proclamation.
Eric Hutchinson had amazing showmanship and talked to his audience like they were his long lost friends. He had many short and funny anecdotes with one about his downstairs neighbor in his NYC apartment complaining to his landlord about the noise. Hutchinson’s landlord said that the complaint was about the drums, guitar lessons and a woman screaming at his apartment. Shockingly, it was all him working on his new album and fans went hysterical. If it weren’t for those crazy moments in that cramped NYC apartment, there wouldn’t be an amazing album for the world to hear.
Supporting Eric on the tour was his good friend and fellow singer-songwriter Jessie Payo who opened and also joined Eric on stage on the ballad called “Back to Where I Was” from his Sounds Like This album, released in 2008. The duet was lovely as the two crooned harmoniously. Eric admitted that he is an emotional guy and he uses music as a way of letting it out. Songs from his current album like “Not There Yet,” “You Don’t Have to Believe Me” and “I’m Not Cool” their beautiful lyrics speak from the heart. You can hear the heartache and the passion in Eric Hutchinson’s voice as laid it all on the line.
The Almost Solo Tour took Hutchinson’s songs into a more stripped-down and acoustic level. The set had an intimate feel with just Eric on either piano or guitar and his trusty guitar man, Elliott Blaufuss, by his side. As a result, more power and definition on Eric’s voice took precedence over the instrumens. With hits like “Watching You Watch Him” currently on the radio, Eric played an excellent version as one of his final songs of the night. His fans turned it into a sing-a-long session complete with handclapping and foot-stomping. The extended version kept the excitement going as the crowd continued to sing Eric Hutchinson’s songs while heading out the door. Hutchinson’s songs are not just catchy, but memorable.