By DONNA BALANCIA — Nick Waterhouse blew away the packed house at the Teragram Ballroom Saturday night, giving an uncharacteristically rowdy crowd an upbeat show that the fans went crazy over.
Waterhouse brought his Orange County swagger — and his pals — to downtown LA in one of the most dynamic performances in a long time. He works with great musicians and he has good taste. He writes catchy tunes and creates a good time for all.
But Waterhouse is more than a cool guy on the stage with a guitar and good songs.
The spectacle-sporting Waterhouse, 29, has the looks and sounds of a rocker, but the mind of a keen businessman. He knows a good opportunity and that’s clear from his business decisions, and the artists he produces and promotes.
The excitement of the evening was marked by a lot of audience participation in the form of dancing and singing. Clearly, the Waterhouse fans are devoted, with the majority of the people in the audience singing along with Waterhouse word for word on each song.
There was even a brief — and stupid — fight that caused Waterhouse to halt the performance as security guards jumped in and broke up a ridiculous argument allegedly caused by two women and then whose boyfriends jumped in.
“It’s so weird to have a fight at a Nick Waterhouse show,” said one concert goer in the lobby after the show. “I think they continued the fight outside afterwards.”
Security had the matter well in hand and Teragram Ballroom is equipped with high tech cameras that are so good someone said “The video equipment they have makes a picture so crystal clear you can see their fillings.”
Waterhouse is so compelling it’s hard to take your eyes off this Buddy Holly-esque hipster. The audience ranged in age from early 20s to late 50s, which is to be expected as the music from Waterhouse is appealing across the board.
The resemblance is where any comparison to Buddy Holly ends, though, as Waterhouse, one of Southern California’s favorite sons has built his career to major success, much in a succinct businesslike fashion.
His song, “Time’s All Gone” is used on the Lexus CT Hybrid commercial and that spot is played over and over again, many times a day.
“He is so smart that he did that,” said a fan. “That is the thing that we dream and hope for today. It’s so hard to make a living as a musician or an actor. To land a major commercial, that is a lot of money.”
SEE THE LEXUS NICK WATERHOUSE SPOT
And apparently Waterhouse is using the money for good. He’s writing with other artists, with two of them — Paul Bergmann and Pearl Charles — playing on the undercard of the Waterhouse headliner.
Pearl Charles has a nice quality and her band carries through in almost a country rock sway. She has a melodic voice and her All-American style was appealing to the audience.
Bergmann’s tempo was mellow, but the talented guitarist-harmonica player-singer is an Echo Park local who admits, this gig was probably the biggest he’s played. He is on the Fairfax Recordings label.
The Nick Waterhouse show at Teragram Ballroom was upbeat, exciting and among the most fun evenings to be had in a long time.
The Teragram Ballroom, by the way, is a hit on all levels: Courteous staff, great sound, good food and a fun time. It’s downtown LA, but there’s parking across the street, on the street when you can get it, and there are a few other parking lots in the area.