Review and photos by Phil BonyataGolden-spiked teenage heartthrob Ryan Cabrera decided it was time to have a little fun. Hey why not, Ashlee Simpson's your ex-gilrlfriend, your the hottest guy on the road and the Dallas native is at the cusp of international stardom. The Goo Goo Dolls John Rzeznik, produced Ryan's latest album Take It All Away. The music drips heavily with Rzeznik's influence.
The sold-out Rave found a wall of young girls screaming to see who could pierce the old security guards' eardrums first. The is no more rabid (if only briefly, like a comet in the night sky) and louder fan in the world then a 14 year old girl.
Cabrera energetically opened the set with "Let's Take Our Time." His blonde mane spiked to perfection as he moved about the stage with the confidence of an older and more experienced rock star. He truly seeems to have natural star talent. But don't tell him that. The catchy "Shame On Me" energy level rose as the starstruck audience became more animated. It did however come across as a loose Santana jam. Cabrera flirted with his fans as he cleverly stroked his electric/acoustic guitar. On "Illusions" in which Ryan co-wrote the song with Rzeznik, you would think that you were in the front row at a Goo Goo Dolls concert. After a few minutes Cabrera's grittier voice helped to plant its own identity. His voice has a natural knack for abrupt key changes, which help lift-up the sometimes weaker melodies. His lyrics are soaked with emotional wreckage waiting for Dr. Cabrera to hand-out a little therapy. "Last Night" and "Straight Up" had the entire band jamming with a kind of grass roots, free form jam that seemed to liberate Ryans' vocal range even more. Cabrera has put a little grunge into his brand of pop. On Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al" Cabrera and the band played a spirited uptempo rendition. Ryan traded duties on the drums and played a fiery set on "True." He could be a fine drummer on most rock bands if the front of the mic didn't clamor for his good looks and charisma.
"On the Way Down" had the spunky melody flow tight with the catchy electric guitar riffs. Cabrera and the band realize how to get by some of the cliched lyrics ("I want to work you out" from "Shame On Me") by letting their musical abilities naturally shine.
Ryan Cabrera has obvious talent and if he can ride the wave of big corporate money and hype and start making music on his own terms he might just grow to be a viable artist.
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