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Review: Shana Halligan Live at the Hotel Cafe 11/12/15

Photo Taken by Ethan Goodman - Monsters and Critics 2015 ©
Photo Taken by Ethan Goodman – Monsters and Critics 2015 ©
On a windy Hollywood night, a diverse crowd was piling into The Hotel Cafe, eager to get into the sold-out record release party of Shana Halligan’s latest effort Back to Me. The 5 piece band took the stage, playing a lively set of old favorites along with brand new material off the album.

Shana brings a breath of fresh air to the world of modern adult contemporary, reminding us that it’s okay to be sexy rather than wallowing in depression as so many singer-songwriters do these days. Her band, who are impressively tight, create a layered bed of grooves and textures which allows Shana’s sultry vocals to take center stage. This, however, does not mean they lay back and let Halligan do all the work–on the contrary, the four musicians were constantly moving to bring her glossy productions to the stage, with funky bass lines, effected guitars, tight drums and twinkling synths, creating a soundscape in which Shana could let loose and draw the crowd in with her silky voice and emotional lyrics.

Photo Taken by Ethan Goodman - Monsters and Critics 2015 ©
Photo Taken by Ethan Goodman – Monsters and Critics 2015 ©

While her earlier material takes production cues from classic 90’s singer-songwriters like Aimee Mann and Suzanne Vega, her new songs bring on a modern vibe, with 808 drum samples, disco guitars and an emphasis on keyboards. Despite this, they never lose the hypnotic grooves that drew the crowd in and kept they hips swaying. At one point, Shana kicked off her shoes and began dancing barefoot across the stage, exchanging moments of bliss with each member of the band. It was clear they were having a blast, a sentiment that was shared with the captive audience.

Photo Taken by Ethan Goodman - Monsters and Critics 2015 ©
Photo Taken by Ethan Goodman – Monsters and Critics 2015 ©

Photo Taken by Ethan Goodman - Monsters and Critics 2015 ©
Photo Taken by Ethan Goodman – Monsters and Critics 2015 ©

You can get Back to Me at any major online music vendor and follow Shana on Facebook
or at shanahalligan.com for new music and updates on all upcoming events.

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