Erika Weander Band
Erika Weander on Guitar and Vocals
Pete Romano on Lead Guitar
Gilad on Percussion
Ben Healy on Piano
Steve Doyle on Bass
240 West 54th Street
Btw. Broadway and 8th Avenue
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 15, 2005
Iguana’s candlelight showcase tonight featured the very vivacious Erika Weander, who, with her seasoned band, has youthful energy and presence and an engaging, fresh sound. With Gilad on exotic box percussion, Ben Healey on electric keyboard, Pete Romano on electric guitar, and Steve Doyle on bass, Erika Weander created a recent sensation at Iguana’s entertainment showcase. Early in the set, Ms. Weander handed the solo to Romano and then to Healy, all the while keeping her vocal dynamics prominent. I Just Want To Be Me gave Gilad the opportunity to add soft percussive brushes. Ms. Weander’s lyrics were soulful and sensitive, dripping warmly on a crisp fall night.
The Traveler had built in volume for two guitars and bass, but Ms. Weander’s vocals always rose above. Anybody’s Guess, about a subway stranger in Paris, included a pleasant, repetitive theme. Tonight’s music grew in intensity and tone. Sometimes swing, sometimes rock, sometimes blues, the mix was interesting and eclectic. It’s Fine, Ms. Weander’s composition about coping on a bad day, was moody and melodic. Subsequent pieces, like Little Things, featured pianist Ben Healy, with a nice guitar blend.
For What It’s Worth brought the audience to clapping rhythms. According to my guest, Marjana, a cellist, “When we encounter quasi-new groups, a rarer commodity might come along with them: besides the expected assurance needed to find their space, a flair of innocence might still permeate their creative manifestation. That is what I witnessed with Erika Weander’s Band: their performance was integrated, almost surprisingly cohesive, and yet there was this candor about them.
Their communication was not ostensive, and it allowed the audience to enjoy this vibe among themselves. Ms. Weander had a beautiful stage presence and congregated the musicians around her. Talking to her after the show, I learned that she engendered this group, and that shined through. Her rendition of “Little Things” was genuine and delicately self-revealing. It was an evening of mellow, honest, evocative music-making at Iguana. Lucky the ones who were there then!”
Erika Weander and Her Band at Iguana
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower