- Blake Lewis Saturday (Sept. 26, 2009) in Novato
NOVATO – I clearly had no clue of what I was getting into by going to a Blake Lewis concert. Blake, you see, had been a runnerup on American Idol the season before I even knew AI existed. I am a late bloomer.
So, off I went to the 7th Annual Rock ‘n Blues By the Lake concert on Saturday. It’s a concert to benefit the Novato Public Schools and the cause was more than worthy.
Blake went on stage – yes, on shores of Lake Stafford – at about 5:15 p.m. and that was after his sound equipment was properly situated by, yes, Blake Lewis. Isn’t often you see one of the headliners at a concert come on-stage and help setup the speakers. But there he was. Kinda looked like me trying to attach the speakers in my living room.
That chore complete, he changed into a clean shirt and tie, maintained his white shades and in the 100-degree heat started his act. It lasted about 4 songs before the sound system went south and he had to improvise with some A) audience participation; and B) some scat, beatboxing with an old friend from Stanford who just happened to be around. Talented, yes; my style, no.
When Blake’s sound finally returned and he sang “How Many Words” and then “Rebel Without A Cause” (“It it kind of reggae-esque,” he explained) you could see huge glimpses of a talent there.
His second record (Heartbreak on Vinyl) comes out in two weeks and I intend to find it (that might be a chore) and listen to it (that shouldn’t be so bad). Blake appears to be a multi-talented performer but he needs to be pointed in a direction. At the moment he seems to be going five ways at once.
Being three years removed from AI that 15 minutes of fame has left the station. He’s on his own now and all I could do while watching him set up that speaker was to think of David Cook. Cook, an AI winner, is polished, has a sense of the industry he has to cultivate and he has a direction.
I honestly don’t think, in his own way, that Blake Lewis is any less talented than David Cook, it’s just that Lewis needs to let go of that rebel inside him, get with the right label, market himself better, use that God-given voice first and foremost and then gradually weave in those incredible beat-boxing/scat/ techno talents he has. It’ll be a shame if he winds up singing with a local rock band in Seattle and not becoming the talented artist he could be.
Here you can here and listen to him sing “How Many Words::
Blake Lewis sets up his equipment on Sept. 26, 2009 in Novato prior to his show