Photos: Cary Brothers & Friends @ The Hotel Cafe – Second Stage Opening Night (02/05/16)

Cary Brothers & Sleeping Wolf @ The Hotel Cafe (02/05/16)

Cary Brothers & Sleeping Wolf @ The Hotel Cafe (02/05/16)

“Where I began before, is where I start now…”


Rebirth. Resurrection. Evolution. Blah. Blah. Kind of funny though that in almost six years of music reviews, my first official adventure of Late Nights: LA is the same one that opened Bored 4 Music. The added bonus being able to see Cary Brothers at the same venue I saw him perform at in 2010: The Hotel Cafe.

Luckily, this experience was nothing like the first. Hotel Cafe, due to popular demand, just opened a second stage that is now attached to the lobby. So what happened that Friday night was a celebration for what is new & old, as The Hotel Cafe‘s famous regular – Cary Brothers…& his friends – solidified their place in the venue’s superb history in front of a sold out crowd.  

The drunk-stumbling-forgetful synthpop indie rockers Sleeping Wolf preceded Cary as the third of five billed artists on the opening night card. Honestly, it’s hard for me to say nice things about an artist who forget their words during a performance. Tobias Jesso Jr., Kanye West, and now Sleeping Wolf to highlight a few on that listen. If music is your profession, and you are trying to impress random strangers who are expecting to be blown away, you should bring your “A+” game… every night. No exceptions. I have no sympathy for such avoidable failures. 

Sleeping Wolf’s tunes were okay. Weren’t memorable. They sound better in my headphones right now than they did that night. Synthpop is hard to convey in an acoustic setting. Take a listen to their latest single – “Ghost” – above.

Cary was on point though. Running through his most popular hits – “Blue Eyes”, “Ride”, “Belong”, etc. – until breaking out his happy new material – “Lovin’ On You” – that closed the show. It was a performance with no fluff.  He barely spoke to us, using the short time limit to play as many of our favorites he could on guitar and piano. Love that. He even brought his friends up for harmonious backup on the final tunes. Added the perfect pepper to his set. But Cary is an amazing artist. Knows his audience and switches the focus so we don’t just look at a guy rocking on a guitar. Pity more mainstream listeners don’t promote his wonderful ballads more. I can’t get enough of them.

 My only…small…complaint is focused on the random patrons by the bar who didn’t shut up at the end of the show. That’s the problem with a small room, the conversation five feet away from you sounds louder than it really is. But absolutely love smaller Second Stage. The vibe equaled the main room and provided more seats for super intimate performances. Also, stage 2 probably has the sleekest bar in all of Hollywood.

The future is bright for The Hotel Cafe. More stages means more new music and more artists to showcase. They are helping the cause. So go out, check in, and have amazing date night with some fresh acoustic rock. Promise, you won’t be disappointed.

Cary Brothers & Sleeping Wolf @ The Hotel Cafe - Second Stage (02/05/16)//


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