When we arrived at WitZend Live last night in the heart of Venice, the place was alive with trendy teenagers whose plaid and floral print clothes hinted at the eccentric beach culture that often frequents this coast town listening room. A lively jazz ensemble was wrapping up their set, and conversations flowed on top of the lively music.
The tides turned, however, when singer/songwriter Andy Pratt moved to take over the stage. The scene transitioned from the colorful vibe of the West Coast to a wine glass-toting crowd dressed in blacks and grays, reminiscent of a more mature East Coast flavor.
Pratt flew in from Boston for the two hour set at this unique listening room, which was founded by Jeb Milne, the owner of one of the most notorious live music shows in London, Singers. As Pratt took his place behind the piano in the corner of the intimate stage, it was clear how fortunate we were to be able to witness such a stripped down performance of someone who has been in the industry for decades, and has put out almost 30 albums in his lifetime.
The “Avenging Annie” artist brought musicianship, honesty, and confidence to the stage, all wrapped in a white satin suit jacket, over top a printed T-shirt, no less. In the many shows I’ve seen in LA, this one bared a stark difference in that Pratt was so at ease in his music, so effortlessly confident on stage, that one could not help but think that if he had played to a room of 10,000 or was alone in the studio, he would have put out the exact same performance. This level of professionalism exuded from Pratt simply loving the music he wrote and performed for us that evening.
The night was an excellent window into the life and work of a musician about whom Rolling Stone Magazine stated,”By reviving the dream of rock as an art and then re-inventing it, Pratt has forever changed the face of rock”. From piano, to guitar, and back, Pratt’s beautiful accompaniment, exciting key changes, and lyrical honesty (to the point of frankness) reminded the audience that once a musician is great, they never cease to be great.
For more on Andy Pratt, please listen to his various albums at www.andypratt.bandcamp.com. Closely associated with Reseda Ranch studios in Los Angeles, a new album is expected to drop from Pratt soon.
Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music enthusiast living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.