Live Society

Live Society
03/09/07 The Lazy Lounge 9:00-1:00pm
White Plains, N.Y.

Concert review by Roger-Z (3/10/07))
Appeared in More Sugar, May 2007, P. 11B

Live Society -- women love them. Dirty dancing erupts throughout their shows. Fronted by two brothers and a cousin, some even compare them to The Jackson Five. This Newburgh, NY based band consists of Brian Collazo-vocals, Kevin Collazo-vocals, Jason Vargas-vocals, John Kaiteris-guitar, Jeff Miller-keys, Anthony Candullo-bass, Scott Harper-saxophone, and Erik Perez-drums.

On this night at The Lazy Lounge in White Plains, N.Y., Live Society appeared without their sax player due to space limitations. Unpretentious, down-home, friendly, the three Hispanic front-men made the stage feel like a street corner. They entertained themselves as much as the audience with their on-stage camaraderie -- dancing, joking, and just plain fooling around. One would normally expect the singers in a group like this to dress in elaborate stage outfits. No sir. Just casual, subdued, street clothes which helped multiply the warmth they generated.

But the real magic involves the vocal harmonies that only blood relatives can generate. Watching these three singers do their thing, one word comes to mind -- family. And blood or not, the instrumental backup provided the perfect foil to the singers. All seasoned veterans of the Westchester scene, the band members kept meeting up on various commercial gigs. It seemed like fate. The band formed and soon put out a CD of originals simply entitled "The 2005 EP." Since then, they play to packed houses performing a mix of R&B, funk, reggae, Latin, and originals.

On this particular night, Live Society focused on R&B covers. The first set included "Use Me" by Bill Withers, "Master Blaster" and "Sir Duke" by Stevie Wonder, "Wishing Well" by Terence Trent D'arby, "Bring It On Home to Me" by Sam Cooke, "Give Me One Reason" by Tracy Chapman, and "Ascension" by Maxwell. After a long break in which the band members mingled with the audience, the group launched into "Money Don't Matter" by Prince, "Africa" and "Georgy Porgy" by Toto, an extended "Could You Be Loved" by Bob Marley, "Rock With You" and "P.Y.T." by Michael Jackson, "It's Your Thing" by The Isley Brothers, and a funky original called "So Good." They closed with "Nothing Compares To You" by Prince.

Women ruled the audience, dancing from start to finish. The rhythm section of Erik Perez (drums) and Anthony Candullo (bass) provided the heartbeat -- a relaxed, sexy feel that allowed everybody to feel safe and comfortable. With his Stratocaster, Guitarist John Kaiteris not only locked up the groove with sparse, abbreviated funk chords, but also added a dollop of Pink Floyd lead guitar. Keyboardist Jeff Miller wrung funky miracles out of his tiny, three octave synthesizer. Together, the musicians jelled into an organic, living being.

Check out "Live Society" as soon as possible. Lock up your bragging rights now. Then you can say, "Live Society. I knew them before they hit!"

2007 Roger-Z