“This song is about a bitch that stole my man!,” shouted ZZ Ward as she took the stage at Irving Plaza and began slaying her song “Put the Gun Down.” ZZ Ward’s Love and War Tour reached its midway point in NYC Friday night and brought heart-wrenching, sexy, soul music to the city.
Though the night moved in a more sultry direction, it started out with San Diego based pop-rock group The Young Wild. They definitely have an anthemic sound. Their single “Not A One,” just released the beginning of the month, is uplifting and catchy and got the crowd moving.
Following The Young Wild, was Marc Scibilia and I don’t think I’m the only one who fell in love with him that night. He asked NYC to get sweaty with him as he rocked out on his knees shredding his guitar. His modern but classic rock sound was refreshing and made you tingle a bit inside. Stand out’s included “How Bad We Need Each Other,” “Better Man” – a song he wrote in a hotel room on his 22nd birthday about not measuring up to the person he wanted to be – and “Jericho” – his favorite song from his upcoming album Out of Style about falling in love. Scibilia also covered The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” beautifully in his soulful rock style.
ZZ Ward was the light of the night. The minute she stepped on stage, her personality lit up the room more than her amazing red hat lit up the stage. This sweet humble girl (she seemed genuinely surprised with how many people showed up to see her that night) has a sultry fire in her soul. Every song she sang was full of emotion, not only through her passionate vocals but also through the way her body moved on stage and how her eyes told the story of each song.
She played a variety of songs ranging from “OVERdue” off of her February 2012 mixtape Eleven Roses, to “Blue Eyes Blind” off of her October 2012 relase Til the Casket Drops, to many of her blues-y hits off her recently released Love and War EP. She even covered Nick Jonas’s “Chains” in a blues style that was all her own, adding in an incredible harmonica solo. Her performance of “Charlie Ain’t Home,” her answer to Etta James’ “Waiting for Charlie to Come Home,” was one of the highlights of the night.
ZZ left her audience with a powerful encore including her top hits “365 Days” and “LOVE 3x,” the latter in which she burst into the crowd and sang the first half of the song surrounded by the audience, chants of “Love, Love, Love” filling the room and taking everyone under her spell. ZZ Ward is a star and her passion for music and words can’t be hidden, and it definitely shouldn’t.
Article: Merissa Blitz
Photos: Manish Gosalia