Feinstein’s at the Nikko, San Francisco, CA, June 16, 2017
Spencer Day swept into his home-away-from-home San Francisco in support of his new CD Angel City, a collection of tunes examining his perspectives on tinsel town and Los Angeles proper. With his sharp, wonderfully descriptive songwriting, and smooth, congenial stage persona, Day always delivers a top-notch performance that further solidifies his fan base and elicits new recruits.
Backed by a three-piece horn section, as well as longtime collaborators John Storie and Cliff Goldmacher on guitars, Day breezed through selections from the new CD as well as a few old chestnuts, each buoyed by Day’s precise orchestrations and velvety tenor. The title track “Angel City” sets the tone for Day’s perceptions on Hollywood and images of success, pretension and the allure of the fast life of money and sex. In it Day sings” I believe in the Hollywood ending”, but his faith is tarnished by the phoniness and flakiness he encounters. These sentiments are fleshed out in “Goldigger”, “Lost in LA” and the wry humor of “California Yes”, where a maybe is always a definite NO!
Day tours relentlessly, and life on the perpetual road is the topic of two tunes from his Vagabond CD, the tile track, and “Joe”, where one can feel the loneliness and wanderlust of the artist. A number of these newly recorded tunes have been in Day’s repertoire for years, specifically the hauntingly beautiful “Ghost of the Chateau Marmont’ and “72 and Sunny”, both lyrically stunning homages to Los Angeles. The only covers of the evening were a burlesque take on the old Robert Palmer R&B hit “Addicted to Love”, and a rocking version of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues”. Day’s songwriting genius was represented by the Raymond Chandler-esque noir opus “Mystery of You” and “Till You Come to Me’ (highlighted with some great horns).
Day has seen his share of disillusionment in the music industry which has perhaps given him his keen eye for creating songs that describe so accurately his experiences. He moves and touches his audience which now support his dreams and ambitions. Day is primed for a breakout and those who’ve followed him along the ride will say “it’s about time”.