Chilly Gonzales is Gonzales. Gonzales is a multi-talented musician and Grammy-nominated producer from Canada, now residing in Paris, whose main weapon of choice is the piano. Classically-trained as a child alongside his older brother, Gonzales has been a student of music for almost his entire life. Creating everything from electro to rap, Gonzales is most well-known for his solo piano performances; his most critical success was given on his release Solo Piano, which, as the title says, is all piano performances. Finding success in the European market, it had been years since Gonzales last made a visit to the States and this trip would prove special. Not only was he to play two shows at Joe's Pub but the midnight show was to showcase a piano battle between Gonzales and the exuberant Andrew WK. Both artists are heralded for their piano skills and was hyped up to be a heavyweight fight. After speaking with Gonzales prior to the performance, he was very excited about the battle and very respectful of his opponent; my full interview with Gonzales will be posted as soon as it is edited.
Before the battle began, Gonzales took the stage and treated the crowd to his solo set, usually known as a piano talk show. The set, consisting of improvisational playing to casual banter with the crowd, was intimate and refreshing. Gonzales is quite the talent, he never missed a beat (or key actually) and wowed the crowd with his precise piano performance. Singing on occasion, most notably to his 'hard thump' "Take Me to Broadway", Gonzales was very engaged and humorous throughout his entire set. Before ending his solo performance, Gonzales was joined onstage by Jamie Lidell who performed "What Is It This Time"; Lidell's voice soared over the modestly-sized venue and was welcomed contrast. At that point, the stage was set. The battle was judged by Akira the Don, the mastermind that setup the spectacle, and points were to be given on performance, crowd reaction and persona. Both artists emerged onstage, Andrew testing both pianos before picking the grand on the left. Andrew had won the coin toss and was to play first. The show was exciting and very funny, here is what took place:
Footage of Gonzales's solo act and interview will be posted ASAP.