By Danni Bauer
CALGARY – When it comes to solo artists, Allan Rayman is in a league of his own. His sound taps into grunge, R&B, soul, blues, and rap, creating a fusion that is undeniable. Top that with his downright sexy voice, he is an artist that everyone should be paying attention to, and judging by the sold out show on the chilly night of September twentieth, it is clear that people are paying attention.
Hitting the stage dressed in a grey hoodie, sweats, and a ball cap, Rayman’s show had a distinct horror movie feel to it. The backdrop a red curtain, the stage heavily lit with red light and smoke machines, and Raymond howling during each of his songs made it all kinds of perfect for a show at the end of September. In between songs his mumbles are hard to make out amongst the conversations that his audience is having, presumably about his stellar performance. He pulls out tracks from 2016 Hotel Allan such as Graceland and Lucy the Tease, and the more popular radio tracks Shelby Moves and 13.
Rayman isn’t one for interviews, and he rarely does them. This is even more reason that we should like the guy. He has the sort of confidence that can come across as arrogant if you don’t know him, which comes out in full force during his performance. In fact, he is the type of guy who could walk into a house party where no one knows him, grab a bottle of whiskey and walk away without anyone questioning him or stopping him on his way out the door.
Rayman unveiled his alter ego Mr. Roadhouse to coincide with the release of his latest record Roadhouse 101. Over the course of the seventy-minute set, Allan Rayman never broke character. Those who might have come to the show with a passing familiarity, sparked by the success of his recent single, walked out with a real sense of what Allan Rayman is capable of as an artist. He is an individual that is true to his art and engaging in his live performance. In a world where Joshua Michael Tillman is Father John Misty and Donald Glover is Childish Gambino, Allan Rayman’s Mr. Roadhouse fits right in to a niche where artists create alter egos to define their performance art. Not to mention that anyone that hires a three person mariachi band to open for them is undoubtedly on the right path.Allan Rayman, Commonwealth, live review, Roadhouse 101