I was happy to see Anthonie Tonnon, who's touring the U.S. from his home base of Auckland, New Zealand, perform twice this week once in front of less than a dozen people in a record shop, and the next night in a hip, crowded bar. It doesn't matter where it is -- he puts on a show. The performance thought-out yet spontaneous, practiced but not pretentious. He works the crowd, he works in the crowd. He takes risks, whether confronted with 10 self-conscious people with street noise filtering in, or in front of 75 swilling handmade gin cocktails.
It was inspiring to me to see structure and spontaneity in performance, and trust in the audience's best intentions.
And the musical chops match the in-real-life confidence.
And I was happy to meet him, too. He's a nice, direct and unaffected fellow who seems sort of ageless. He looks quite young, but is much more mature than his polite and polished exterior.