One thing I love, and it happens nearly every time:
I go to a live performance, and find a little unexpected treasure. You know, like when you go to a concert with an opening band you've never heard of, and now the opening band is one of your favorites, like these blokes.
So, a little while ago (OK, August 2009), I went to see some live ballet in Washington Park accompanied by the Portland Cello Project. I love me some cello, and there's almost nothing better than free performances in parks. It seemed like a lovely way to spend a summer evening.
The unexpected part was this little bit at the end where Brian Perez lent his voice to the lovely collection of cellos. The cellos started out slow and haunting, and as John Brophy's bass guitar began, Brian Perez let loose that voice of his. I was taken aback by the clarity and power Perez packed into each note. Even with the wide open outdoor venue, and me sitting near the back of 3,000 people, Perez effectively filled the space with his slow croon.
I thought to myself, "who is this guy?" I didn't really wonder why I'd never heard of him. I don't really pay attention to these things. Interestingly, though, I haven't heard anything about him since. It seems Brian Perez is well known (on the internet, anyway) for that particular song, but there's not much else about him out there. No solo career, not much in the way of other songs that aren't bad video of karaoke. Oh well; I'll have to be satisfied with that one live performance.
You can see a video on YouTube or Vimeo of Brian Perez singing "One More Try" with the Portland Cello Project at the Doug Fir, or a lower quality video of the same song in Washington Park, where the above photo was taken. The Portland Cello Project's latest album is available now.