In his first (sold-out!) headlining show, Lee-Lonn let us in on the magic that happens in his room every day.
It goes without saying that Lee-Lonn can sang – yes, with an “a” – but many of us were not aware that in his room every day, he’s creating the magic that is his music. A listen to Lee-Lonn’s SoundCloud or a visit to a show in which he’s performing will let you hear how talented he is when it comes to songwriting, producing, and singing – but it’s not until you hear it LIVE for a WHOLE show that you even begin to glimpse the magnitude of his greatness.
The show, put on by The Rush Houston, Houston’s newest experience for the underground music scene at the Foundation Room at the House of Blues, was full of expectant friends, family, and fans (most of those categories overlapping), waiting to see Lee-Lonn perform his set while DJ 4K spun the latest. The first part of the show was dedicated to a jam session where Lee-Lonn’s band played and people were free to hop on the mic to sing and/or rap with only two rules: 1.) You have to go along with whatever the band plays, and 2.) you can’t suck. No one broke the rules. I was thoroughly impressed with the amount of unbridled talent in the room. If The Rush Houston’s goal is the put people on to hidden and underrated artists in Houston, they are off to a great start.
Countless improvisers took the mic, and I’m not gonna lie – I was about to complain about how long it took Lee-Lonn to hit the stage. But what happened next was well worth the wait.
Lee-Lonn came out and you could tell he was kind of getting into his groove with the first song, maybe a tad overwhelmed at the sheer amount of people in the room. By the second song, however, he was in full Lee-Lonn mode. The singer went in and out of falsetto, even venturing into the crowd to put his arm around a “fine” woman or two, and sing into a couple of camera phones. I managed to sneak my way up to the front and sit on the floor in front of him to really observe (and shout like a church lady when he hit those high notes and sang “Plantains”). Watching Lee-Lonn reminded of Ed Sheeran’s set where he is controlling all his sounds with a loop pedal. For Lee-Lonn, though, he controlled his sounds through his board and his MacBook – just as if he were at home doing what he does every day. Lee-Lonn’s interaction with the audience, as if we were all actually sitting in his room laughing, joking, and dancing with him, was very reminiscent of the house party-esque vibes one gets when attending a Bruno Mars concert.
Aside from the amazing singing, the playful banter with the audience, and the out-of-this-world band, the most enjoyable (for lack of a stronger word) part of the show was watching the comfort with which Lee-Lonn performed. That kind of familiarity with his work could only be the product of countless hours working with those tools. Watching Lee-Lonn bounce about the stage, stopping at the perfect junctions, controlling his music, the band, and the crowd (at one point, creating a 3-part choir out of the audience to sing “I Like It” by DeBarge), was almost like watching a mad scientist at work, creating the cure for untapped talent.
Well, the tap is now open, and I am confident enough to say the bar is now set for Houston singers. I have not been to such a fun, awe-inspiring local show probably ever in my life. Lee-Lonn has, indeed, shown Houston that he is not just a singer/songwriter and producer – he can combine himself as all three in a perfect trinity of R&B and hold his own next to any of the legends who inspire him. I loved the intimacy of the show, and though I will definitely miss the show being that small and inexpensive, I can’t wait to see this Space City singer take off.
If you missed out on the show, I have compiled some of the best moments I could get in the midst of House of Blues darkness and people begging me to go live so they could see more. Check them out here, and make sure you don’t miss out next time.
To keep up with Lee-Lonn and be the first to know about his upcoming project, Lush, check him out on IG and Twitter (@leelonn) and on Facebook.