May 13, 2011
In support of his most recent studio effort, Loverboy, Brett Dennen made his way south and into the city of Atlanta for a show at the Variety Playhouse. In support, Brett invited his neighbors from the California south, Dawes.
Dennen’s unique talent was on display throughout the night. He is a rare soul who can sing lyrics like "Beyond the rules of religion…The cloth of conviction…Above all the competition…Where fact and fiction meet" and do so without an element of visible or even perceived pretentiousness as he did on this night when he offered "Heaven" to the near-capacity crowd.
Dennen’s boyish and sometimes even childlike qualities bathed the audience in a vibe, but an artist who has such a persona is always at risk of appearing contrived. This was by no means the case with Dennen. Instead what shone through from within his lanky stature was candor and a barren yet full soul.
The night was equal parts sincerity and heartfelt lyricism combined with truly dance worthy and fun numbers, best evidenced by a cut from the aforementioned new release, "Must Be Losing My Mind," and later through Dennen and band’s taking the audience on a trip to the islands with the reggae sounds of "Blessed" from 2004’s debut self-titled release.
On its whole, the night with Brett Dennen in Atlanta was a great display of the expansive broadness of Dennen’s songwriting. There literally was several songs in the catalog for every taste, sans rap. This said, it seemed that most tastes were quenched on that Friday evening…that is, if the sing-alongs and post show glows of those in attendance told an accurate story.