It was by sheer coincidence that I found myself at Arlene's Grocery tonight for this show that featured Wind-Up Records own Vamp, Megan McCauley. My original plan for the night was to kick back some dinner and a brew or three and then see an all star collection of area musicians performing a set of Deep Purple music. I found out that they were actually going to play the entire “Burn” album from start to finish and then cap it off with some other Purple standards, but that detail in full is for another article. So when I glanced at the events calendar on the venue site for details I noticed that the sultry siren Megan would be performing just before them and when I realized this I knew that I should arrive early enough to be able to catch her set. For those of you who haven’t heard her or heard of her yet, Ms. McCauley is a relatively new signing to Wind-Up Records and has released her debut on the label entitled “Better Than Blood”. Musically, she has one hell of a voice and I guess the best way to draw a quick idea about her sound is to think a little along the lines of Amy Lee from Evanescence but with a lot more soul and just a little bit more of a dark side tossed in for good measure. I had actually met Megan once before at an area Otep show and found out about her music that way but since there are others who might yet need to be schooled on the young lady, she was also featured on two of the super-hero movie soundtracks that were released over the past couple of years. The singer had one song featured on the soundtrack for “Elektra” (and if you’ve seen the movie, you will probably agree that the music was the best part of the whole thing) and two songs appeared on the one for “Fantastic Four”, a better motion picture and when it came down to it slightly more powerful tunes.
Megan hit the stage in a stunning red dress which was like something that came out of a classic film noire setting but in her daring to be different style, this outfit had spider webs as its pattern. Quite Gothic to say the least. Her entrance was done with a little “Jessica Rabbit” and then it was right onto the business of presenting her original material to the crowd. The singer fronts a band that consists of four talented players and finds Marc Slutsky (drums), Paul Vassallo (guitar), Tim Quick (guitar) and Joe Marian (bass). I’ve seen Megan play the piano on videos and interview clips but sadly she would not do any of this tonight. Drummer Marc is also the bands musical director and all of the guys sounded great doing the music from her album. None of the guys in the group did the actual recording but now seemed locked into place as her live touring group. After a couple of numbers that were still rather new to me from the record she delivered “Die For You” from Fantastic Four and this is a killer tune where her voice just breaks the sound barrier if you ask me. She wouldn’t present us with “Wonder” from Elektra tonight which I felt was a shame based on my view that the track would also work with the visual she was putting forward tonight. She would do the song called “Time” which is not an album track so she said we would all have to go download it somewhere if we wanted it. I’m sure that she meant via the conventional legal means if anything. What followed next was perhaps my second favorite tune from the singer and is “Wrong Way Out” – a powerful number that demonstrates her ability to use a number of different vocal octaves and melodies. How this song is not a hit on terrestrial or satellite radio is beyond me. She did her so-called “sexy” song of “See Through” and then did her special Daddy dedication as “I’ll Pay You To Shoot Him” began. This incendiary number is very personal to the singer and deals with her very stormy youth and her relationship with her Father. After leaving the audience rather breathless with that one she would close out her set with “Fragile” and then bid New York City a fond goodnight.
I liked Arlene’s Grocery for this kind of show as the way the venue is sectioned is front bar and then band area and bar. The performer came out and met with the people in the audience and signed their CD’s and posed for pictures. She is a talented young lady with a kick ass band behind her and I would definitely recommend her performance to any fan of solid Hard Rock with a real melodic angle.
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Official Web Site: www.meganmccauley.com
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