From Pop Up Performances To Two Sold-Out Nights At The NOVO, Cannons Flame Burns Bright THOUGHTS+PHOTOS: Cannons at The Novo 9/24/22
LOS ANGELES, CA- I’ve been championing Cannons since the first time I saw them perform live back in 2017 when they opened up for Night Game at The Bootleg Theater, so when I read that the 2400-capacity The Novo in downtown Los Angeles had to book a second show because the first one sold out so quickly, I said to myself, “Wow. That’s pretty big time.”
Thanks to their generosity, I was able to attend and shoot their sold-out show on September 24, 2022. I know … I know… you’re probably saying, “How come this review is so late?”. Well… there are only so many ways I can say how much I dig their music. Trust me. I’ve spent a couple of hours over the past month trying to draft something new and fresh to add to what I’ve already said in the past. It’s a lot tougher than you’d think.
Is Cannon’s music still on that seductive vibe that I fell in love with? Check. Does Michelle Joy still cast a spell with her soft, dulcet tones? Check. Are Paul (synchs and bass) and Ryan (electric guitar) still laying down that dreamy funk? Check. Do they get better every time I see them live? Check. Are the stages getting bigger every time I see them perform live? Check. Maybe I’ll have more to say in a minute…
Kicking off the music for the evening the GG, a DJ who began the spellcasting with an eclectic mix of house and disco tunes. Though one of her social media accounts states she spins “No Top40” tracks, she snuck in an MGMT banger, and I’m pretty sure they were Top40 back in the day 😉
She did a wonderful job getting the crowd hyped for the headliner to come. Though she was focused on the tracks she was mixing, she clearly had the crowd (at least those patrons up at the front) eating out of her hand as, by the time she was done, a handful of them were yelling to the stage to get her name. In fact, as she wasn’t announced when she took the stage, I didn’t even know her name until I shouted to her to get her attention.
The next act to take the stage was Arieh Berl p/k/a “Pink Skies”. Originally from Oakland, CA, Pink Skies’ music is synth-heavy, independent electronic-pop. When he took the stage solo, playing backing tracks from his laptop, the stage was initially, appropriately, drenched with pink/magenta lights. I thought that the production of his tracks was solid. Very clean instrumentals with each track having a distinct danceable tempo. Though this was my first time getting to experience his music, I could hear the potential in his musicality.
If I recall correctly, his performance consisted mostly of his upbeat tracks. After listening to his Spotify playlist, I would have loved to hear him perform some of his more downtempo, chill cuts, something like “Summer’s Gone” or “Better Apart”. I think that that kind of emotion would have played well with the Cannons crowd who were there to get wooed in the first place.
Later in his set, he invited the LA-based artist XKLAR (pronounced “Skylar”) to the stage to perform their 2022 collaboration “Nickels”. In this part of the performance, I could sense that Pink Skies’ confidence perked up a bit. I think having another body on stage to play off of allows him to be freer on stage.
As I sit here trying to come up with something to write about the Cannon’s performance at The NOVO, I still fondly remember booking them for a small showcase in Hollywood that I co-produced. This was a couple of years before they got their career-altering “Never Have I Ever” synch placement when they were just excited to be asked to perform a small club gig for a small online publication. When I see them pulling large crowds at festivals and selling out nights at a huge theatre in a huge market, I can only feel proud.
It’s not like I had anything to do… at all… with their success, but as a longtime fan, you always root for your team to win. And when they win, you win. These two sold-out nights at The NOVO, in their “hometown”, is a win for Cannons, and a win for their Cannonites (<-Is that a thing? Can that be a thing?). Being there was not only a privilege but a victory lap, and I’m glad I could be there at the finish line next to the checkered flag.
Watching this band grow over time has been an absolute pleasure and I can only hope that their star continues to rise. With over 1.8 Millions monthly listeners on Spotify alone, I can’t help but believe that’ll be the case. Only time will tell, but I’m hoping that their journey stays on course, and I’ll be in the photo pit when they are headlining a gig at The Greek or Hollywood Bowl. Fingers crossed.
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