Lisa Bianco: The Studio at Webster Hall 4 May 2012

Lisa Bianco is an artist that people fall in love with the first time they see her perform. It happened to me years ago when she was fronting Red Jacket and I was at a small East Village bar to watch my friends perform. And it’s happened to friends of mine when I take them to see her perform – either solo or with a band. This time I was at The Studio at Webster Hall, which is a small club beneath the giant Webster Hall. While Bianco was on stage the bartender leaned over to me and asked, “What’s her name? She’s great!” Bianco managed to impress a NYC bartender who had seen it and heard it all.

I had never been to a show at The Studio so I was interested in checking out the space. It’s a small space, good sound, and decent sightlines. This Friday night was five bands with each getting a half-hour set.

When I got there an acoustic duo was performing mostly blues. They were very good. Bianco was supposed to go on at 8:30pm and it was time but then another band came on – as usual everything was running late. This band started a small sound check and they were LOUD. For the first time in a very long time I took out my earplugs. They did announce themselves but I wasn’t paying that much attention. They were unusual – it was a little psychedelic sixties with a little heavy rock with some off-tune singing/talking. The female singer was good and should have been given more to do.

Then it was time for Lisa Bianco & the Fury. Bianco is promoting her new cd Momentum so most of the songs were from the new album. Bianco is a knock-out – it doesn’t matter if she’s dressed up or down. This time she was dressed up and looked a little uncomfortable (or maybe I’m projecting because I’d have been uncomfortable with those shoes and short dress on stage). Her outfit said pop but her music and her playing are pure rock and roll. I’ve said it before – Bianco is one of the best guitarists you will ever hear in your life.

The new songs are more of what I want from Bianco – kick ass and loud (by the way, her band was loud without being LOUD) with a sweet soft side also. Ari Sadowitz on bass and Ben Bynum on drums helped fill out the sound that night.

She ended the show with a Red Jacket favorite “Sun Glare.” As always, Bianco blew people away with her playing and my only complaint is the show was much too short.

By Carene Lydia Lopez