CONCERT REVIEW: Laura Michelle Celebrates New Album Release with Drake Bell at El Rey Theatre

By Jessica Klausing

 photo by Jessica Klausing

photo by Jessica Klausing

Laura Michelle, the singer-songwriter behind the video viral hit, “Chuck Norris”, hosted a local release party for her album, Novel With No End last Friday night at the El Rey Theatre in downtown Los Angeles along with special guest performers.

Peter and the Lion kicked off the night with their quaint and eccentric pop songs. These catchy hits were a great start to the party as they were able to draw the audience closer to the stage.

 Drake Bell photo by Jessica Klausing

Drake Bell photo by Jessica Klausing

Following the first act was Drake Bell and his band, whose performance was nothing short than epic! Bell launched into the 50s blues infused guitar rockin’ “King of Rock N’Roll.” This was a fitting opener for them. Just imagine if Elvis Presley had joined the Beatles– that’s Drake Bell and his band!

Bell’s musical maturity is far beyond his years. This heartthrob is more than just another teen star; he’s a solid musician with something to say. His crisp yet supple vocals during the contemporary pop hit “Makes Me Happy” was reminiscent of the early 60s Beatlemania days. There is a fearless fluency within his lyrics that defies the modern musical composition.

The real highlight of the set was "Found A Way" or better known as the Drake & Josh theme song from the former Nickelodeon show. Bell's enthusiasm seemed to bring a new level of high within the theatre. Everyone was up dancing and singing along to this signature song. His music is so fun and upbeat that you just can't resist those infectious melodies.

 

 Laura Michelle photo by Jessica Klausing

Laura Michelle photo by Jessica Klausing

After Bell’s performance, fans waited anxiously for the arrival of the main star of the night: Ms. Laura Michelle.

Michelle came out into the audience for a special cake cutting ceremony. Novel With No End is Michelle’s first album release which was produced by the Grammy winning team of Jarrett Zellea, Rafa Sardina and Jim McGorman. The album also features drummer Marc Slutsky (Splendor, Drake Bell) and bassist Jon Button (Roger Daltrey, Sheryl Crow and Shakira). The show was orchestrated by musical director Jim McGorman and an all star musician lineup: Steve Fekete, Al Berry, Steve Ferlazzo, Marc Slutsky, and Rachel Grace. The delicious cake and hors d’oeuvres were catered by Sweet Lady Jane Bakery to honor this stellar night.

Immediately after the ceremony came time for the anticipated main event. The stage lights faded into a dark shade of blue as Laura Michelle strutted onstage in her killer open toed boots.

The star crooned her sultry sweet vocals right into the whimsical pop, "Cigarette."

She rolled right into the softer ballads, "The Credit" and "Aint Your Home" before pausing to thank her fans for coming and to chug a whole bottle of water. She gave a shout out to her cousin and mom for the next song, "Save Me", saying that "it was their favorite song on the album and to thank them for being there through the hard times."

 

 Photo by Jessica Klausing

Photo by Jessica Klausing

"Throwaway" picked the beat back up but it was perhaps "Chameleon" that really got the party started. This song really strives to show off Michelle's feisty side as she confidently states, "So this is my disguise/ You used to be handsome, a little less homeless, a little less hopeless."

Michelle's playful, upbeat attitude seemed to really energize the crowd. People of all ages could be seen dancing, swaying pink glow sticks, and singing their hearts out to the hit "Chuck Norris" and "Dangerous."

Later in the set Michelle took a moment to talk about her father. 

"I am what you would call the definition of a daddy's girl," Michelle proudly told the audience as the large screen flashed a picture of the two of them together.

He had passed away when she was only fifteen. She opened up about how music was able to lift her spirits during her father's illness. Michelle went on to explain that she wrote "Novel With No End" about him and that the album was dedicated in his memory.

Michelle finished out the set with "Top Of The World." A song that takes a jab at "people that think they are all that but are really not." This offers a good life lesson about not letting arrogant people steal all the joy.

Laura Michelle's music will take you on a pop rock trip through all of the heartbreak, love and life lessons in her life. She's open with honest lyrics that offers a positive message for all ages. This type of positivity is sadly overlooked within today's mainstream pop genre. Michelle stands strong as a passionate young artist with a promising career.

SETLIST:

Cigarette

The Credits

Aint Your Home

Save Me

Throwaway

Chameleon

Chuck Norris

Dangerous

Novel With No End

Top Of The World