Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome. See my complete profile
Last week I was in the city to interview an artist, but always wanting to do as much as possible, I took a look at who was performing at some of my favorite venues to see if I could catch a show, as well. That’s when I noticed pop artist Paige Howell had an early set at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 1.
I listened some of her music online, and enjoyed what I heard, so I decided to check her out. It turned out to be a really good decision.
Here’s why you should join me in the crowd the next time she hits the stage.
1. She’s a pop star waiting to happen
Howell has a stage presence that clearly shows she’s very at home performing, and her songwriting range spans the full pop gamut. She has wide-eyed, innocent, love songs, “batshit insane” (her words!) songs, and deeply personal moments, such as when she performed a song she wrote dedicated to her grandmother, who passed away from pancreatic cancer.
Performance-wise Howell isn’t afraid to extend a note, especially when it comes to her original work, and she does so without over-singing. There are no riffs, runs, or embellishments, just the purity of a well held note.
2. Her covers are incredibly fun
Howell’s set was probably 60/40 original content/covers, and the covers she chose on this particular night showed off her influences, personality, and, in one case, creativity with arrangements.
Whether she was embracing her sultry side with Niall Horan’s “Slow Hands,” her dark side with Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do,” or her crazy side with Bebe Rexha’s “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy,” Howell – who bears a slight resemblance to the aforementioned Rexha – always made sure there was at least a little bit of herself in each cover.
A personal favorite of mine was when she covered Ariana Grande’s “Bang Bang,” but used the guitar part from The Guess Who’s (and later, Lenny Kravitz’s) “American Woman.” Howell weaved the two songs together, seamlessly transitioning back and forth from one to the other.
3. She’s extremely personable
Whether it was while she was on stage, or after the show speaking with fans and friends, Howell had a smile on her face, and an eagerness to make sure everyone was having a good time.
She encouraged people to sing along during her set, and post-show she seemed to find a way to make time for everyone who wanted to speak with her, or take a picture with her.
To find out when, and where, Paige Howell will be performing next, check out her Facebook page for show dates.