By DONNA BALANCIA – Allison Iraheta and Halo Circus are going strong. Halo Circus has a great new album ‘Bunny’ and as front woman Iraheta has proven she has pushed far beyond her American Idol fame and into new territory.
The former ‘Idol’ favorite, has taken an alternative turn, and her constituency blends together faithful from her dynamite TV appearances with fans of her new music and band.
The new album is a mix of melancholy and rock with a range of style in between. At her record release party at Sphere Studios in North Hollywood, she gave a good crowd a sampling of the release and pulled out all the stops. Several lucky fans were winners, getting to check out the party and rub elbows with Allison’s pals and musical colleagues.
Allison Iraheta and her Team
Halo Circus is Allison Iraheta, Matthew Hager, Veronica Bellino and Brian Stead; lyric booklet designed by Patty Palazzo of Punk Masters; photographs by Nick Egan; album produced by Matthew Hager; mixed by Craig Bauer and mastered by Eric Boulanger.
Featuring Allison Iraheta and Halo Circus, K.C. Porter and co, Project N-Fidelikah, David Garza, and Victory Mori, the evening was a collection of the experimental and the traditional, in an inclusive environment at The Troubadour.
“It was an amazing show with a lot of different sounds and styles,” said one concert-goer. “I never expected to see Latino, metal, ska, funk and violin all in one night. Maybe that’s what true Rock n Roll is all about.”
Across the board, ‘Say It Loud!’ was a winning evening with more than one person commenting on the satisfaction the musicians felt in assembling the diverse styles.
Allison Iraheta, perhaps best known for her finalist finish on American Idol a few years back, showed a wild side, singing empassioned tunes and showing her cool alternative side. The pink-haired Latina who grew up in East L.A. is a terrific talent with a warm personality to boot.
He Promises The Moon
Nothing At All
All I Have
Guns In Our Hands
Yo Me Voy
Do You Believe In Shame
Out Of Love
Can’t Take You Away From Me
Iraheta’s band is comprised of Matthew Hager on Bass, Veronica Bellino on drums and guitarist Brian Stead. The musicians each have a rich history and combine for big sound. With several videos under their belt and new releases on the way, the band will likely break out far beyond a loyal LA following. Expect more from this group.
The evening launched with overwhelming guitar work of Victory Mori and was followed by renowned producer K.C. Porter who got the audience up and dancing.
Project N-Fidelikah proved to be a wild ride with George Lynch (Dokken), Chris Moore on drums, Pancho Tomaselli (War) and Angelo Moore (Fishbone). It was a surprisingly cohesive unit and we look forward to more offerings from this unique band.
The emcee for the evening was Sharlotte Gibson, a singer who has performed with everyone from Whitney Houston to Nine Inch Nails. She did a nice job keeping the evening moving along at a brisk pace.
David Garza wrapped the evening in a notable trio with Hager and Bellino.
Halo Circus is a bilingual alternative rock band with powerhouse vocals. The group is releasing a new album in 2016.
“It’s a bilingual concept album about life seen through the eyes of a girl who was raised by El Salvadorian immigrants,” said Iraheta. “She achieved the impossible to become a witness to a world that she didn’t know existed (from) where she grew up.”
The record was produced by Hager and mixed by Craig Bauer (Kanye West, Ed Sheeran, Smashing Pumpkins).
“Say It Loud!” kicks off at 7 p.m. Bands on the bill include:
— Project N-Fidelikah (featuring Angelo Moore of Fishbone, George Lynch, members of WAR)
— David Garza (famed storyteller and Austin favorite)
— Heliotriope (featuring members of Ozomatli, WAR)
— KC Porter’s Cruzanderos (featuring multi Grammy-award winning producer-songwriter Porter)
Sentimental Show at The Troubadour
Iraheta, whose claim to fame has been “American Idol,” says she feels a bit sentimental to play at The Troubadour.
“Halo Circus played our very first show three years ago at the Troubadour, so it’s a dream come true to have our own night there now,” she said. “In our search to fill out the bill with artists that inspire us, we were humbled by the level of talent that wanted to be included. We discovered that there are geniuses living among us.”
Iraheta said she has noticed a trend in the industry to return to cause-based songwriting.
“Artists are desperate for a return to meaningful lyrics and songs with purpose,” she said. “We’re excited to be a part of ‘Say It Loud!'”