VENUE: Starland Ballroom - Sayreville, NJ
REVIEWER/PHOTOGRAPHER: John Lisa
Follow John on Twitter at @HHHJohn
There are many artists that we put on our must see list. Scott DeCarlo, I am telling you, is a must see. Each and every time I get to see Scott perform, his stage presence seems to improve, if that's at all possible since he's pretty much awesome out of the box. When I heard Scott was going to open for Tyler Farr at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ, I knew I had to get tickets to see this show and get them quick because his shows are constant sell outs.
In the weeks leading up to the show, I spoke to Scott and his manager about covering the show for the website. With Scott having known both Jenn and I for years, he was without a doubt pleased to accommodate. I met Scott's manager the day of the show and went over some of the things they would like me to cover. They requested that I "please cover every thing from start to end." This was such a great experience
First came load in and set up and let me tell you, it does take more than just a little time to get equipment in place. After everything was set up, it was time to make sure everything was working properly. That's right baby, it's sound check! I can tell you that the sound is totally different when there are not a thousand people packed in to the room like sardines. I think I like sound check, I like it a lot!
After sound check, I had the opportunity to Scott about many interesting things. I was glad to hear that he is working on some new music. He introduced me to all his band members - John, Mike, Mark, Andy and Walt. They are some to the most down to earth guys with some of the best personalities and senses of humor. They had me laughing most of the time. It was such a pleasure talking to them about their plans for the band and for the future. From personal experience and having seen many bands, I have to say these guys have some of the best energy in the business.
Now it is almost show time, or as I like to just call it, "go time". I took the opportunity to speak with some of the people in the audience that haven't heard Scott's music before. I told them I would love to ask them after his show to find out what they thought about the show. ( I will get back to this at the end). As I got into position to shoot some photos, I was able to speak to another photographer that has not seen Scott. I told he the best advice I can give him is to just "be ready and make sure you capture as many as you can because Scott moves around unlike any other artist." He doesn't stand in one spot the whole show, so photographers can really get some great shots but you definitely have to be ready. Scott has a ton of energy and is constantly moving around the stage, as well as interacting with the audience.
As the band and Scott walked on to the stage, the place erupted in applause. You can tell from the atmosphere and the sheer decibel level, that this area loves Scott and that they were there to show heartfelt support for this local artist/NJ policeman. Scott opened with a brand new song called "Loop Into Buzzin'". As Scott warmed up, the performance just went crazy as Scott interacted with the crowd. He made his way through the crowd and jumped up on top of the one bars to finish up the song. During one of the songs, Scott made his way to the side of the stage and sang to the fans there as well.
I was lucky enough to photo shoot his whole performance from the front of the stage as well as on the stage. To be on the stage with an artist and see the audience reaction was awesome, truly an experience I wish any music fan had the chance to do. You could really feel the reciprocal energy between the crowd, the band and Scott. Being a NJ police sergeant by day, you have to wonder how Scott finds the energy to perform at such an intense level of energy, but he does it, each and every show.
After Scott's show, he headed to the merchandise stand to sign autographs and take photos with his fans. I followed him over to capture him candidly interacting with those that obviously love him. He only had about 30 minutes to do this and while the line was probably about 100-150 people deep, Scott took full advantage of the little time he has and signed items for people as well as took a photo with them if they requested. One thing that truly touched me during this meet and greet was when a little girl came over to speak with Scott and he got down to her level and thank her for coming. He didn't stand over her and talk down to her, he got on her eye level and maintained eye contact and interest the entire time she spoke. When he was finished speaking with the little girl, he picked her up and took a photo with her. After the photo, they exchanged hugs. This touched me because many artists forget how they got to the place they are and that it's because of fans of all ages, all walks of life. This is something Scott DeCarlo keeps foremost in his mind and he truly appreciates everyone that appreciates his music.
After the meet and greet, I was able to speak with him some more. I got to ask him some questions in an interview that was posted on Lovin' Lyrics. When finished, I walked back over to the people I spoke to earlier to see what they had to say about Scott's performance. They could not speak highly enough about him. He made many new fans that night that didn't even know who he was before he walked on stage. To quote one girl who had never seen Scott before, she stated that "Scott's show was better than Tyler Farr's". With that being said, I can only say please put Scott DeCarlo on your must see list.
Connect with Scott online. He handles his own social media personally and does not use a social media manager. He is personable, approachable and one of the friendliest guys in the business.
Twitter - @ScottDeCarlo
Facebook - ScottDeCarloMusic