Kan Wakan and Panama Wedding had the early show at Mercury Lounge but you would of never known it was still light outside because inside was a magical landscape of dreamy tunes.

Kan Wakan opened up, I say “opened” only according to slot appearance as they had the stuff for the headliner. The 6 piece band from Los Angeles was a mini orchestra of sorts and showed a tremendous ability to create a dynamic and intelligent set of adventurous tunes. Touring on their debut LP, ‘Moving On‘ that just came out this week, they put on a dazzling set including the single ‘Like I Need You’ which was featured on HBO’s 2014 spring preview. Most of the songs featured the smoky and beautiful vocals from lead singer/percussionist Kristianne Bautista which had the crowd transfixed as if watching a live movie being performed. All the tunes had a cinematic feel to them which were obviously put together with extreme diligence and detail by multi-instrumentalist and producer Gueorgui Linev. Their well crafted numbers were a gorgeous mix of pop, jazz and alternative rock arranged in a way that made its own style and genre, which is hard to do. Highly suggest this live show and will be catching them again.

I was only asked to shoot Kan Wakan but decided to stick around for Panama Wedding as I knew they had done a beautiful ‘Whiskey Session’ with us for the song “All Of The People”. The synth/pop band from NYC is the brain child of Peter Kirk and with it’s local roots had the room sold out and grooving, by which my estimations is hard to do before 8pm in the city on a Thursday. The set was a fun one with Kirks amazing and soaring vocals backed up by a solid band made you want to dance. Reminiscent of some good 80’s pop with an updated twist it was a solid set of nicely crafted songs. After an hour of sweet music Panama Wedding left the stage to deafening roars and was glad I stuck around for both bands as it made for a very satisfying evening.

Article and photos by: Shayne Hanley

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