Kane has power

Gallant ‘wows’ the crowd


Joseph Delano

Eryn Allen Kane performs at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall.

During the Bay Area leg of his ‘Oology’ tour crooner Gallant along with Prince protégé Eryn Allen Kane graced the stage of San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall last Saturday night.
Kane performed first. Because I’d only sampled her music briefly, I wasn’t sure what to expect – she was spectacular. Many of the numbers required audience participation, which was fine because she exuded so much personality that it was easy to engage with her. Watching her onstage was an interesting experience. With her small stature, powerful voice, strange facial expressions and dramatic dance moves, she managed to enchant a room full of people.
The best part of her set was when she sang a soulful rendition of Prince’s “How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore?” dedicating it to his memory. She lightened the mood again however, by performing a mashup of Prince’s “I Wanna Be Your Lover” and The Tramps’ “Shout.”
She received so much applause’s after her set was over, all of it completely deserved.
There was a short break between performances in which instruments were set up and free water passed out to the crowd.
Before Gallant commanded the stage, there was a concerning thought that because his music is predominantly slow R&B, and no matter how good it is, songs tend to start sounding the same thing if there are no variation. However, having Kane’s gospel and soul influenced performance beforehand balanced Gallant’s laid-back sound.
When it was time for Gallant to perform, each musician came out one by one, taking their place at their instruments. Together, the musicians slowly built up a sound so intense that the vibrations from their instruments replaced my heartbeat with their sound.
It seemed the audience cheered of the band as well and each person was memorable in terms of appearance — the guitarist with his piercing eyes and gold sneakers and the keyboardist with her bat-patterned stockings. Gallant himself came decked out in a black suit jacket, Converse sneakers and a turtleneck with tinted sunglasses ones can only describe as “very ‘90s.”
He also made use of props including fake plants, old books and chairs. He tore up several books during intense parts of the show. This was perhaps the most offensive part of the whole night – well that and the fact that he threw his towel into the crowd and someone threw it back.
The intensity of the strobe lights was a bit much at times, occasionally shining directly into the eye sockets of those to the front left of the stage. Permanent eye damage aside, there were sounds so ethereal emanating from the stage that it was hard not to close my eyes and fully immerse myself in the experience.
Like everyone around me, I swayed to his performance of “Bones and Tissue” and “Weight in Gold” and I danced as he performed “Episode” — one of his more upbeat numbers. The last song he performed after the crowd begged him for “one more song,” wasn’t particularly memorable, but it was a decent ending to an impassioned display of emotion and vocal prowess.
There was only a slight difference in performance quality between Kane and Gallant. You could hear Kane’s voice better because her backing band wasn’t as loud. That doesn’t take away from the effort and talent exhibited by Gallant however. He clearly has the vocal ability, dance moves and style to be successful at his craft.
You can catch both artists on tour this winter – Gallant in various European and Asian countries and Kane all over the United State. Gallant’s album “Oology” and Kane’s EP “Aviary: Act II” are both available to stream. For more information on Gallant, go to gallant.space.com and for Kane go to erynallenkanemusic.com.