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Concert Review: Paul Rosevear At Googie’s, The Living Room, New York City, NY 8/26/09

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Paul Rosevear, singer-songwriter of Asbury Park's hook-driven pop quartet Readymade Breakup, made a solo appearance on Wednesday night at Googie's, the upstairs listening space at The Living Room on New York's Lower East Side. He played a twelve-song, 45 minute set for an enthusiastic capacity crowd.

Rosevear took the stage with an acoustic guitar, tuned for about 30 seconds and dove right into his opening number, the perky and entrancing "Figure Eight." Next came "Great Moon," a surprising stroll through ordinary life and beautiful visions. But the song that still resonates two days later is "Talking to Myself," a radio-ready pop tune from his recordings with Readymade Breakup. Rosevear tested the breadth of his vocal range on this number, and easily conveyed the strength of the full-band version. He followed this with an older Readymade number, "Ships in the Night," a pleasant ballad waltz with keening top notes.

Paul Rosevear plays live original music in NYC and NJFor "Drag the Anchor," Rosevear detuned his guitar, and then couldn't get it back in tune afterwards. Or perhaps this was a planned excuse to toss the guitar aside and "play this thing here"—a monstrous white piano that took up almost half of the stage.

Rosevear's popularity and ease at the piano was promptly revealed when he tore into the key-pounding rave-up "Honey You May Be Right." This number, from the second Readymade Breakup album Alive on the Vine, brought Rosevear and the whole room to full life, with a fan base revealing itself with hoots, and hollers and lyrics.

The show took the requisite dip at around the 30-minute mark, with a sweet but sleepy memorial piece "Let's Say Goodnight," the catchy "This December" featuring dropped lyrics, and a move back to the guitar for a random yet enjoyable cover of Tom Petty's "You Don't Know How It Feels."

But Rosevear pulled it back together for a winning finale. "One One Thousand" was an enthralling, hushed meditation, and show-closer "Portland" was a straightforward two-minute acoustic vagabond crowd-pleaser. Paul Rosevear easily commands the attention of fans and newcomers, with his accessible tunes and lyrics that make you grin at your date.

 

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