There’s nothing worse than when the independent musician that you discover ages before they get noticed by radio stations and thousands of fans become willing to pay much more for a concert ticket is suddenly being played in commercials and on the music tracks in the mall.
So it was for me with Eric Hutchinson, with whom I’ve been obsessed since his 2006 EP “Before I Sold Out.” In 2007 E-Hutch’s full length album Sounds Like This was praised by super blogger Perez Hilton and instantly shot up in popularity.
But when I saw Eric perform at one of my all-time favorite Los Angeles venues, the El Rey, it was instantly apparent that the exposure has done him good.
I saw him last year in the intimate San Juan Capistrano Coach House and he was a wonderfully witty performer, and while this concert was almost entirely the same songs, it was a completely different experience. His band (all notably rocking ties and collared shirts) was incredible, and his energy on stage was markedly filled with a different kind of confidence that only success can bring. He was still hilariously witty, writing and singing a song calling out a couple that was making out through his whole set completely on the spot, while his talented band mates played along, following his cues. He did a cover of the Temptation’s “My Girl” that morphed into R. Kelly’s “Remix to Ignition” and back again. Genius.
By far my favorite portion of the night was his new stuff. Even worse than not being able to claim an artist as your own is when that favorite artist’s sophomore album disappoints (case in point: The Cold War Kids). His new songs were just as catchy and clever as anything that we would expect from our guy Eric.