Richmond, VA – One of the best things about covering bands is seeing up and coming artists evolve. The Emma Garell Band was an opening band the night I shot my very first big-name artist, Nita Strauss, at The Canal Club in Richmond, VA in December of 2018.
Since that show in 2018, I have seen Emma and her band perform numerous times, and each time the growth and maturity of the band has been obvious. In 2018, Emma was a recent graduate of a local School of Rock. Her music and style was raw, powerful, and had a very School of Rock formula style.
After my initial exposure I have had the opportunity to watch Emma and the band transform from cookie cutter rock and roll to a defined style. On July 20th at the Canal Club, I had the opportunity to see the product of over two years of wing spreading and band development.
Emma and her band took the stage and revved things up with a cover of the Pretty Reckless tune, “Follow Me Down”. Lead singer, Emma Garrel belted the lyrics and had the crowd into the show quickly. It did not take long to notice changes… yes, the evolution. Looking back to 2018, any stage would do. While quite talented, the musicians did not move about the stage a great deal. Fast forward to 2021, the current lineup almost needs a bigger stage. Yes, when there is a show, size (of the stage) does matter.
The two Dylans, Dylan, The Unicorn, Lawson and Dylan, The Centaur, Edwards, on guitar bring very different personalities to the stage. Lawson’s style forces the riff out of the axe in a benevolent dictatorship sort of way. Thankfully, the guitar is always very willing to obey. Edwards, on the other hand, strokes the strings, making them scream in apparent simultaneous climax.. he and his guitar are one.
The newest member of the band, Mitchel – The Storyteller – Bamberger on bass was reserved for the most part. Mitchel came to the band in early 2021. The storyteller moniker was most likely derived from his folk projects, as Mitchel Evan and the Saboteurs or as Mitchel Evan, and is expected to yield some great results as the band collaborates on lyrics and music in the future. While often reserved, when the animation gene kicked in, Mitchel’s interaction with the rest of the band was not quite at the face melting level, but he definitely turned up the heat.
The only stationary member of the band (not by choice) is Cody – The Monster – Mausolf on drums. My sense is, if you could efficiently put a drum kit on wheels, Cody would be the first in line to buy one. While his movement is limited to the throne, his stage energy is off the Richter scale. He brings it all together, as his high driving energy was felt all throughout the Canal Club and kept the band members moving. In addition to his percussion skills, Cody brings a plethora of video skills to the band and has put together multiple Emma Garell Band music videos.
Last, but definitely not least, is the namesake and lead singer of the band, Emma – Queen Bee – Garell. With the focus on her powerful vocals and wide range of styles, Emma’s evolution is very apparent. In 2018, much of her style in music was consistent with the nature of School of Rock. Through her progression, she has continued to do an excellent job of making her music her own. That said, with the first song, Taylor Momsen’s influence was noticed and yet there was an aspect that was all Emma.Emma Garell performing at The Canal Club in Richmond, VA on July 20, 2021. Photo Credit: © Dave Pearson 2021
After the cover, the band went in to one of Emma’s early singles, “Crawl”. I remember when the song and video were released. The video was shot by Cody and is both surreal and powerful. In my humble opinion, Crawl was a huge leap in Emma’s evolution.
The band played a few unreleased songs before going into their first original single, “Destination Anaheim”. Emma and the band killed it!
Rounding out the night, the band covered the Rage of the Machine tune, “Testify”, to the delight of the fans crowding the stage area. This was my third post-COVID restriction performance I have seen, and the crowd interaction with Emma and the band was high up there with the others. Now that live music is back and stages are once again being used to present live music, expect to see more of the Emma Garell Band!
EMMA GARELL BAND PHOTO GALLERYWebsite l Facebook l Instagram l YouTube l
Want to see more? Emma Garell’s single “Mother May I”
Emma Garell Band Setlist
Follow Me Down
Who Do You Think You Are
Show Date: July 20, 2021