concert reviews

Ryan Cabrera at the Birchmere, Alexandria, VA, Wednesday 23 February 2005

Piercing shrieks punctuated Ryan Cabrera's set on Wednesday night at the Birchmere. While those screeches turned to chatter during some of his slower songs, the energy of the primarily teenage crowd mostly remained at pep-rally level. Girls alternated riding piggyback to give each other a better view of the stage, digital cameras (and camera phones) waved in the air at every moment, and one girl mysteriously raised a stiletto-heeled shoe over her head for much of the show.

It's no surprise Cabrera has achieved this status among the high school crowd: his voice is oh-so-smooth, his lyrics are oh-so-sensitive, and his spiked hair and quick grin are oh-so-dreamy.

Cabrera took the crowd's energy in stride, literally dancing into Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" in the middle of his song "Echo Park." But nothing he did seemed to wear his fans out: Among their unsurprising confessions of love, one girl screamed, "I want your body!" By contrast, there were no such lewd remarks during opener Aslyn's set. She mirrored Cabrera's spunkiness, her curly hair flopping over her keyboard as she banged out a sassy cover of Billy Joel's "Movin' Out."

-- Catherine P. Lewis

.: Originally published: The Washington Post, 25 February 2005
.: Selected discography: Take It All Away (Ryan Cabrera, 2004); Lemon Love (Aslyn, 2005).