LOS ANGELES, CA- When you’re the opening act on tour, it’s imperative that you make the best use of what is usually a very limited amount of time in front of an audience that, typically, isn’t there to see you.
“I was feeling that.”
“What’s was his name again?”
Hearing mid and post-set reactions such as those, it was safe to assume that New Jersey raised, Nashville-based Patrick Droney had done exactly that, and that he’d done it damned well.
Taking the stage ahead of ZZ Ward as she kicked off her Stardust Tour, a tall and lithe Droney gained an easy command of the well-packed Troubadour room by lifting off his 30 minutes with little more than a soulful voice-over-guitar intro of his signature hit, “Stand and Deliver” from his self-titled 2019 EP. By the time the two musicians accompanying him joined in, the room had hushed a bit in that way that signals that ears have tuned in and been turned on. And then the man on stage turned it up.
Droney is an emerging singer-songwriter of a certain sort: that sort being a young guitar gun who has played with B.B. King and Elvis Costello and can craft devastating and richly emotional lyrics to wrap the full-bodied soul of his voice around. As musical styles go, Droney’s is that sweet spot where blues, classic soul, pop, and universal messages mesh in the best way.
While his set may have been short and sweet, it was flush with examples of why Droney is a keen artist to keep an eye on. His deft and clear songwriting hand did more than just craft the bittersweet breakup of “Brooklyn”: he actually made the song sound as lived in as the city and the love he left behind and you could tell that the Troubadour audience was feeling those feelings.
Due to Droney’s crooning and delicious guitar solos, the temperature in the room inched up a few degrees during the oh-so sinfully sultry “Ruined” where the crowd reactions ranged from open-faced awe to slow dancing with imaginary partners. Droney practically danced through his freshly-released single, “The Wire,” and brought his set to a close with the optimistic beauty of “High Hope.”
Even one of the security staff at the Troubadour found himself pulled in by Droney’s charm admitting that – for a while – he’d forgotten to pay attention to what the club’s patrons were doing and reminded him that he’s not yet “jaded” about music.
Now there’s a brilliant example of an artist making the most of the time that they’re given.
Setlist: Stand and Deliver / Yours In the Morning / Brooklyn / Ruined / Where You Are / The Wire / High Hope