Gig Review: Ferras Plays Smiths Old Bar


Ferras wasn't feeling all that fresh, but he belted out a solid tune at Smiths Old Bar in Midtown last night. "I was thinking about canceling my show, because I am really sick," he told a rowdy audience. "But I hate people that cancel shows, so here I am. Feel free to throw your tomatoes or beer at me when I croak."

Given the fact that he wasn't in the best shape, Ferras delivered an impressive performance that was entirely on pitch giving the audience absolutely nothing to complain about. In fact, after enjoying his CD for the last few days, it was great to see him rock out on stage, which convinced me that he's not just another studio creation, but the real deal.

The handsome crooner played stripped down renditions of his songs on an electronic piano. The simple, intimate setting allowed him to fully demonstrate his musicality and vocal chops, which fully back up the buzz that has surrounded him since his track "Hollywood's Not America" appeared on American Idol. The song is taken from Ferras' debut LP "Aliens & Rainbows" that is available on iTunes now and out in stores next week. (Stream "Hollywood's Not America" HERE.)

Originally from Illinois, Ferras was signed to Capitol Records after an audition for the label's chairman Jason Flom while on Spring Break from Boston's Berklee College of Music. He teamed up with production outfit The Matrix (Avril Lavigne, Jason Mraz, Korn) and Gary Clark (Natalie Imbruglia, Lloyd Cole) to record "a really good pop record." The result is an accomplished debut filled with radio-friendly and heartfelt pop-rock tunes that give Ferras a firm shot at fame.

Ferras' showcase last night included a gorgeous rendition of his ballad "Dear God," a moving performance of "Hollywood's Not America" and his misfit tune "Aliens & Rainbows" (a very personal song a"feeling different"). He closed his set with a song that is not on his album, titled "Phantom Song," which is another piano-driven tune that allowed the singer to show off his soulful voice.

(A big thanks to Bobbie and Jules at Hollywood and Vine for setting me up with Ferras.)