Friday, October 18, 2013

Diego Garcia Rocks Sixth & I

Diego Garcia delivered a rousing performance last night at the Historic Sixth & I Synagogue, delighting a full house in the Downstairs venue with the live debut of his new CD Paradise. The hour+ set included several new tracks, in addition to a few off his first solo effort Laura.

The night began with warm-up act Arc Iris and its adorable lead singer Jocie Adams. Decidedly more "up tempo," Arc Iris won me over with the first half of its set, before venturing a bit into the unknown towards the end: Their last track was an odd assortment of different styles, that didn't necessarily mix well. It's apparent they're still finding their live rhythm; but the potential is there for something special. No CD yet; but Jocie asked the audience to add a reminder to their 'phone, diary or whatever' for future updates. May I suggest following Jocie on Twitter?

As for the main act, Garcia and his band (particularly guitarist Zeke Zima) made an impressive DC debut. You couldn't ask for better acoustics in a relatively small space; and Garcia made the most out of it. The former Elefant frontman worked the room with future hits "Tell Me," "Thoughts of You" and his first song written in Spanish (Garcia's parents are Argentinian) "Donde Estas," which he seemed particularly proud of. My favorites included "Sunnier Days," "Laura" and his closing effort, "Start with the End" (or perhaps end with the end, in this case.)

Garcia's warm charisma filled the room, eclipsed only by his superlative vocals. There's an undeniable likeness to Enrique Iglesias, both in looks and sound... although the two young ladies seated next to me made no secret of their preference for Diego. According to Garcia, his life has dramatically improved of late (he's now married, with two kids) and it shows on stage. He even took time to joke around about the recently ended government shutdown, and the fact that he can't quite afford to buy his namesake atoll... at least not while the U.S. Navy owns it.

Diego opened his U.S. tour last month in Baltimore; and moves on to the Highline Ballroom in New York next Wednesday before wrapping up in the Midwest the first week of December: Click here for a full schedule. If you live or work nearby, I highly recommend adding Diego Garcia to your itinerary. You can also purchase Paradise online at or on iTunes.