Jimmy Gnecco is one of the greatest American rock singers of all time in my opinion. His voice is unmatched in today’s over-bloated class of singer-songrwiters, and his talent remains under appreciated by the masses. But that’s OK , because those of us who get it were treated to a very rare intimate set at San Francisco live music staple Hotel Utah last week and it was f**king incredible.
Gnecco rotates back and forth between going solo and fronting the band Ours. Back in 1997 he led Ours to a deal with Dreamworks records which spawned two of the best records I have ever heard in my life: Distorted Lullabies and the terribly underrated masterpiece Precious. He then went on to record with legendary producer Rick Rubin creating the epic critically acclaimed “comeback” record Mercy. Fast forward to the present as Gnecco recently finished a very successful Pledge Music campaign to release yet another stunning piece of work called Ballet the Boxer. I was an early pledger in the campaign and it was quite remarkable to see the video updates, art work, snippets etc coming personally from Gnecco instead of a record company. The result delivery of the new record and experience for me as a fan has completely outdone anything music I have purchased before.
Gnecco recently announced two special acoustic shows, one in LA and one in San Francisco. I jumped at the chance to see the show here in SF and Gnecco’s management was nice enough to get me a photo pass for this recap. The room was pretty dark for photography, but the contrast of Gnecco’s incredible performance of just him and his guitar on a near empty stage made for some of my favorite photos. Mind you that low light photography is challenging in the first place, in a dark club with only one red light illuminating the stage, this becomes even more difficult.
Gnecco was quite the storyteller that evening and he admits that he doesn’t have a setlist but instead relies on the crowd to choose the songs. There was no shortage of requests and even I was shouting out for him to play “Sometimes” which he did, and “Leaves” which he teased the intro a bit. Regardless, his performance was absolutely remarkable and the audience influenced/guided setlist was brilliant. I simply can’t say enough good things about this guy without have to play you his music so you can discover for yourself. The new Ours record is available now and it is one of the best records you will hear in 2014. Celebrate this guy, because there aren’t many artists who can match his voice, his songwriting, and most importantly his vision.
Thanks to Jimmy for letting me take photos even though the camera shutter was a bit loud here and there. And a special no thanks shout out to the woman in the balcony who commented about my choice of shooting Nikon cameras, stick to your iPhone and keep the snarky comments to yourself.
Check out all of the photos from the show in the gallery.