Moroccan Lounge | Los Angeles, CA | July 29, 2018 | Photos: Chris Camargo |
It was a single release party and a fundraiser but – possibly of the greatest importance – it was also a gathering more familial than not.
On Sunday night Los Angeles and the Moroccan Lounge welcomed music industry veteran Dean Passarella’s new artist incarnation, Wolf Bay (whose new single “Under The Moon” was freshly released last week), and a bevy of fellow and singularly like-minded LA-based artists an eve of good music and supporting a great cause: the Trevor Project. Presented by Play Like A Girl (PLAG) and ROVE, the faces in the room and on stage were familiar and the feelings were mutual because, at its core, this group of musicians and music fans is a uniquely strong and supportive community and continues to show that from the inside out.
It’s vital to highlight ‘supportive’ as some notable faces/friends joined Wolf Bay on stage. Friends like Lauren Ruth Ward and Alicia Blue on backing vocals (and synchronized dance moves) and India Pascucci on drums all while Passarella fleshed out his newfound emotional sound – textured here, subtle to bombastic there – for the room and bringing it all home with his penchant to shred via Jeff Beck’s “Live in the Dark.”
Speaking of on stage, prior to Wolf Bay, the night began with the social soul and funky musical poetry of Michelle Young and the Collection joined by Grammy winner Dave Yaden on keys and Malynda Hale with Young pulling double duty as between-set emcee/hostess. Also on the music menu were Georgi Kay, Emma Cole and VAVÁ which meant there was a lot of something for everyone.
There was the something somewhat hypnotic in watching Kay’s groove-laden beat creations come to life by her hand as a performer of one. Then there was the vibrant convergence of east coast soul-bop (come on, whose hips didn’t start shifting during “He Will”?) that Philadelphia native Emma Cole brought not to mention guest Jen Awad turning things out cabaret-style with her own single, “Basic Bitch.”
And in-ear monitor technical difficulties be damned because, no matter how often she had to fuss with them during “Two Hearts”, Vanessa Wheeler aka VAVÁ pushed through it like a boss to show her pure guitar virtuoso chops and why she is more than qualified to take on a Radiohead song like “All I Need” which she did elegantly and I may or may not have consumed with mostly eyes closed.
The beauty of it was that pretty much everyone in the room had about six degrees or less of separation making it a warm, welcoming and inclusive affair. Music, raffles, charity, and friends: that’s how this LA music community rolls.
Michelle Young and the Collection