For most people, 12 noon means a chance to step away from the desk for a break, a chance to get out of the office to grab lunch, or handle some business. But, what about a concert? Well, maybe not that. Ironically, for Philadelphia’s World Café Live, it’s the perfect time to host a concert.
Each Friday, Philadelphia’s World Café Live and WXPN hosts a weekly concert series, Free At Noon, which puts a spotlight on up-and-coming artists. On Friday, October 27th it was singer-songwriter, and Washington D.C. native, Nick Hakim.
Performing music from his debut album Green Twins, Hakim kept the noonday crowd at bay and engaged, offering a combination of passionate vocals and tight grooves. Blurring the lines between subconscious dreams and hopeful love, Hakim’s Green Twins evokes the emotion of a past lover, and while trying to rectify an old relationship. The creativity of Hakim’s storytelling transferred well to live stage, as the intensity and arc of the instrumentation matched Hakim’s lyrics. Hakim also added elements to his live performance and to the slow-burning, Needy Beesby hitting his Danelectro DM-25 amplifier creating a splash, echo-lite effect that reverberated in the room.
Hakim often paced back-and-forth on the stage as if he were frustrated with the subject of a song, or if he was in search for an answer to the questions his lyrics brought about. The tone and fervor in his raspy growl-lite whispery voice could be heard as an emotive vehicle for each message.
Hakim closed his set with JP, a song that builds slowly and crescendos into a passion-filled plea, as Hakim sang – won’t you fly high with me/there’s so much more to see/won’t you guide me up on the down/just take me there – to the sound of crashing cymbals and a distorted bass guitar.
After his set, Hakim stuck around for a meet and greet, signed albums and talked with the fans, and was gracious enough to talk with me, briefly, sign my album, and take a picture.