Christie Palazzolo @ The Bourbon Tap and Grill, February 13th

Live music at a place like The Bourbon can be something that appeals to patrons or irritates them, and for Christie Palazzolo on Thursday night, it was absolutely the former.

I have a hard time listening to live music at bars; trying to talk over it to someone right beside you can wear on a person’s nerves, but I didn’t mind it so much when I listened to Palazzolo and her father sing on Thursday. Bourbon caters to a wide variety of people, and although it was not packed the way it can be on a Friday or Saturday night, I think it helped Palazzolo. More people were focusing on the music being sung rather than the several TV screens or getting their next drink. She fit right in at the popular bar, from her ripped jeans and colourful hair, to her cheerful disposition. In fact, I rather liked her powerful voice and friendly interactions with the crowd.

She often made jokes with the tables surrounding the stage, filled with friends and family and more than a few fans. One of whom had a homemade sign for Palazzolo, excited and nervous to meet someone she idolized. Seeing the interaction between the two girls made the whole experience seem more real, and it made me like her even more.

Palazzolo went on stage with a big smile, her body moving in time to the music playing over the radio, and again as she sang. I could tell she was excited to be there, even with the small crowd; it endeared me to her immediately. All smiles, she introduced herself and her father, Pete Palazzolo who accompanied her on both the keyboard and electric guitar. They made sure to promote her CD of original work, but didn’t let it overpower their performances. One of the best parts of the night was how she interacted with her father; they danced and sang with each other, very clearly enjoying their time up there together.

Playing her own acoustic guitar and keyboard, Palazzolo’s solo time on the stage was where she truly shined. She killed songs like “Lost Boy” by Ruth B, and “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC, but floundered a bit with Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop The Feeling” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody, two songs she didn’t seem entirely into. Still, the crowd surrounding the stage waited with baited breath for each song, and when her own original work came into play, it didn’t disappoint. Her songs had emotion and power behind it, and none were like the other. They made Palazzolo seem more at home on stage, more comfortable in front of a bar full of people.

It’s hard to command a room, but Palazzolo managed it well. Not everyone in the bar came to hear her sing, but those who did clapped heartily after every song and sang along with the lyrics they knew, while listening on in awe as she belted out “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele. When she had a chance to take a break, Palazzolo made her way around the room, stopping in at each table to talk with friends and fans, but always jumped back on stage when it was her turn to start singing again.

Palazzolo has a way to make every song her own; not once did she try to emanate Adele, or Queen, or Justin Timberlake; the best part about Palazzolo’s voice is how uniquely her own it is.
Check her out at The Bourbon on every third Thursday of the month, and to hold you over, you can buy her music on iTunes here.

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