Allan Rayman at Public Arts was “grungy as hell”.
Tucked away inside the tree-lined Public Hotel, Public Arts was a divine space for those with a craving for the next explosive voice in music.
If it weren’t for the full house, it would have been easy to imagine the show taking place in Rayman’s own living room. Kicking back a beer, Rayman sidestepped and circled around the faded, frayed carpet between songs in a controlled chaos that shooed away any possibility of boredom.
Throughout the night, fans played witness to what seemed like Rayman’s most personal emotional stand-offs. Rayman wrote his album while off in the woods, and he brought the rawness of his time alone straight to the stage. There was no hiding an ounce of unfiltered thought or feeling as he performed.
His latest single, “Rose,” shines a light on the twisted side of fandom – a selfish idealization, a secret opportunity, an inflicted vulnerability – depending on the mood you’re in. Every song of his is a hit in its own right, and he’s got a hell of a lot of credit when it comes to churning deep-seated fear, adoration, and resentment into resounding, unapologetic anthems.
With a voice reminiscent of Joe Cocker but a style that’s deeper, darker, and sexier, Rayman’s got an appeal that’s just about to surface. His live performance at Public Arts bound together into one satisfying session of seeing red, letting it in, and picking apart its colors. It feels good to get up into the madness.
When Rayman’s album Harry Hard-On hits later this month, it’s going to break a fuse.