W/ Brooke Annibale
June 9, 2016
Photos and Re-cap Zach Nellis
Local singer/songwriter and Hampton grad, Kevin Garrett made his triumphant return to Pittsburgh. After seeing the world on his first international tour, his timing could not have been any more perfect. The Southside was buzzing with Penguins fans, trying to figure out which bar would have the room for them to watch game five of the Stanley Cup finals. After fighting through traffic and an array of Penguins jerseys I made it to The Rex Theater to find a line of fans patiently waiting for the doors to open.
Shortly after the doors opened, the seats of The Rex began to fill up with excited fans of all ages. While I was walking around the stage area getting my camera set up for the show, I noticed some commotion in the back of the theater toward the bar. I turned around only to see Kevin Garrett surrounded by a pack of what seemed to be a mix of fans, family, and friends who were all eager to ask about the success of his latest tour. Kevin was nice enough to talk to everyone and even allowed me to snap a few portrait shots of him before he returned back stage to prepare for his set.
Right around the time the puck dropped, local singer/songwriter, Brooke Annibale took the stage, making sure to note that this was the first time she had ever worn a Penguins jersey on stage, and it felt great. It did not take long to realize why Brooke was asked to open for Kevin. Her songs were slow and intimate, with powerful lyrics about relationships and heartbreak which perfectly complimented Kevin’s style. Switching between acoustic and electric guitars, Brooke did an amazing job keeping the crowd focused on her talents as a musician. My personal favorite was “Remind Me” off of her latest full length album The Simple Fear, which was released in October of 2015 and can be found on iTunes, Spotify, and Bandcamp.
A little after 9 o’clock Kevin Garrett took the stage along with a drummer and keyboardist backing him up. Right after finishing his first song Kevin was smacked in the head by his own mic as it fell over. He joked that this would be about as “high energy” as his show would ever be. He continued, playing most of the songs off his 2015 EP, Mello Drama, with fans singing along to every word. Throughout his set, he made sure to stop and ask for an update on the Penguins game, only to hear that we were down 3-2. Despite the bad news, he continued to joke around with the audience, even putting on a rather small Pens rally cap offered to him by a fan.
After mentioning that he couldn’t be happier ending his first big tour in his hometown, Kevin blessed the crowed with some new songs he had been working on as well as a cover of Alessia Cara’s, “Stone”. Both new songs, “It Don’t Bother Me at All” and “I’ll Find the Words” shared the soft and soulful sound that his diverse fan base has grown to love him for. Following a glimpse of his new work, Kevin wrapped up the night with an encore that included one of his hit singles, “Control”. Kevin’s set came to an end around 10pm, giving him just enough time to make his way to the back of The Rex where he could meet and greet with fans, as well as watch the last period of the Pens game.