A pained face outlined by a single spotlight held the attention of a spellbound room with tortured yet beautiful, breathy vocal inflections and a sense of seeming unawareness of the world around him. Viewers, captivated by the dark, crooning figure, seemed to be in a reverie, unable to take their eyes away from the stage. The figure in question: singer/songwriter Rocco DeLuca, who exuded a sensual, almost predatory vibe during his Tuesday-night show at Velvet Jones. With a distinctively mysterious aura, DeLuca spoke from his heart throughout his set but left just enough room for fans to wonder about his life experiences, making for a captivating, almost intoxicating live show.
Prior to DeLuca’s entrance, the room was graced with the presence of the incredibly sweet Skyler Stonestreet, whose soft, melodic voice and heartfelt lyrics had the crowd mesmerized. Performing a number of charming, daydream-inspiring songs, she provided a breath of fresh air to Velvet’s dark space. She also more than earned a Next Big Thing nod with a slew of tunes off her recently released EP, simply titled You.
Although there was a sparse audience Tuesday night, those in attendance were thrilled to see DeLuca, screaming his name as he took to the stage. Showing a deeper, darker side, he performed a number of songs that bled with provocation, wild desire, and feelings of agony, including the moody “I Trust You To Kill Me” and the high note-filled “Nightingale.” With eyes closed, the image of a wolf howling at the full moon materialized as DeLuca sang, instilling a sense of restlessness and sorrow that seemed to resonate with everyone in the room.
While the small show allowed for a sense of intimacy, there was still a hanging awareness of the distance between the fans and DeLuca, especially when he seemed to be more in his head than up onstage. In the end, the dynamic made for an incredibly powerful performance, even if it left fans yearning for more and for a deeper understanding of DeLuca.