“Find Love it’s all you should do, if you don’t find love it won’t find you.” Are the opening lyrics by guitarist vocalist Damyon on his first e.p. ‘We’re all dogs.’ To my delight it was also how he opened his show last Tuesday night at The Baked Potato in Studio City.
The bar itself, while small, has an enormous amount of character and history. The sound is impeccable, the food nothing short of amazing and the ambiance that of a club that has been a part of Los Angeles for a very long time, in some ways it feels like an older Los Angeles, one where dreams were made upon.
Damyon took the stage with his seven other members Jon Franco(Guitar), Rob Work (Drums), Destinee Nelson(Vocals), Marisa Testa (Vocals), Cassandra Lee(Vocals), Carl Raether (Bass) and Max Bergmanis (Keys) with what can only be described as an aura of positive delight. Clearly just happy to be playing and be present, he started his set and what an exceptional set it was.
I appreciate music that is to the point while holding a decorum of artistic integrity. While Damyon songs were straightforward they didn’t lack in technical ability or vibrancy. His songs are well crafted, thought out pieces of art and having so many musicians back him up only bolstered that idea. As far as his sound its very far ranging, from moody alternative to an upbeat almost 70’s sound and the greatest thing about the range is it never sounds disingenuous. All his songs feel organic like he wrote them not to sound a way but, to exist in a way. You can almost imagine him sitting down with his guitar and letting the music come to him.
His voice was always at 100%, he sings with his full heart the entire time he’s preforming. It’s beautiful and calm at moments yet trembling with intensity. Sometimes he reaches a near yell but, never at the cost of control and even in those tense moments you can feel what he’s feeling. He’s a perfect emoter, easy to connect to, a pleasure to relate to.
Damyon’s set was short but, very sweet. His band is one of the tightest I’ve seen on independent circuits and they’re clearly all very connected through his art. It isn’t easy to cram that many people on a small stage and they handled the challenge well.
Damyon himself wasn’t even center stage, instead choosing to let his three singers take the middle and in that he seemed humbled; delighted just to be there.
I’ve listened to his record more than a few times, I’ve connected and spoken with the individual behind the art and family is what it all comes down to. Maybe not the one you’re born into but, the kind you find through expression and love. To Damyon family is everything and there’s a beauty in the idea that is very hard to ignore.
It’s been an honor getting to experience that with him and all I hope is that more people go see him, go speak to him and become a part of that vast ever-growing family that is independent music. Sometimes that’s all you need in world that can prove to be more than a little harsh. “Find love it’s all you should do, if you don’t find love it won’t find you.” Indeed.