Erik Corriveaux

The Mermaid Lounge

August 23, 2004

I furrowed my eyebrows and asked myself if we had BET when Gil Scott Heron wrote "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." No, I told myself, we didn't, so everything made sense after the concert when performer Erik Corriveaux said he added some modern references for his concert at The Mermaid Lounge Monday night. The vocalist/guitarist from The Bad Off possessed a spoken-word style and a simple yet effective chord-oriented guitar technique. He built energy with his elemental chord progressions and kept my interest with his beautiful voice until he exploded a song by returning to the original movement. His guitar cut through the air(props to the soundman), and he created a nice groove with his strumming.

For the first few songs, Corriveaux stuck to his spoken-word approach, but then he went straight for my throat with his depressing, blues-laden folk numbers. His repetitive strumming and the dark atmosphere surrounding the songs created a hypnotic vibe.

Later in the show he asked another guitarist onstage. That's when things got good and bad. Corriveaux and his partner played more straightforward rock songs. I yearned for drums and the bass. Corriveaux should have played less aggressive songs that didn't draw attention to the absence of a rhythm section.

Otherwise, Corriveaux put on a great show that was a wonderful showcase for his powerful voice. It was clear, and when he reached for the notes, he got them.

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