Mayer Hawthorne’s return to St. Louis traded the large stage of the Pageant (where he opened for Chromeo) for the more intimate surroundings of The Firebird, but the young soul songwriter kept the upbeat production and experience of his live performance intact.
The Stepkids, fresh off an in-store at Vintage Vinyl, blended psychedelic jazz grooves into their soul and showed the crowd how to properly incorporate video projection elements. Patterned scenes projected over the trio’s all-white attire to add an interesting visual element to their tunes.
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Hawthorne transformed the stage into a cozy retro lounge complete with sofa chair, antique phone and bobblehead in his image, providing the appropriate tunes to get the crowd swaying along. It was a good mix that evening of material from A Strange Arrangement and How Do You Do, with a few covers thrown in to please the dancing crowd. I was a bit surprised at the wide demographic in attendance, but I guess that’s just the power of soul and Motown.
Photo Notes: Definitely a great night for shooting between the Stepkids’ projections and the ancillary lighting for Hawthorne provided by the broken heart and initial signs. While Hawthorne is certainly the focus of the evening and is super photogenic, don’t sleep on his backing band, who also provide for some entertaining shots with their cool demeanor.