By Rhetta Akamatsu
The John Pagano Band played Darwin’s Friday night to a good crowd, many of whom had not seen the band before But whether they were seeing the band for the first time or had been around for the evolution from JP Blues to The John Pagano Band, the crowd responded enthusiastically to the band’s energetic, skillful blues- rock.
John has loosened up on stage a lot in the five years that I have been reviewing him with and without a band. He is engaging and really seems to enjoy interacting with his kinetic bass player, Tony Hossri,who is a blast to watch because he is literally constantly moving, and the absolutely spot-on drummer, Shiloh Bloodworth, who has one of the best names of all the musicians around town.
The band played a mix of their usual original material and new songs from the album they hope to release in the spring. They are taking a slightly new direction with the new music ,adding a bit of a Counting Crows influence to their own powerful blues-rock. Its too soon to say too much about how different it will be based on the few songs we heard in the first set, but they sounded great.
They were playing so hard that they were breaking strings and damaging various accessories, and poor Tony Hossri’s finger began to bleed. John pointed out, “Tony gave it his all, and now he’s bleeding.” It didn’t even slow them down at all.
A highlight of the show happened when John walked out among the crowd, stopping at various tables to play and let people get photos.He climbed on a table to play but got down fairly quickly as Darwin’s ceilings are pretty low!
It was a delightful night with this high-energy band of friendly and extremely talented young men who just keep evolving. I can’t wait to see what happens next.