Francisco Martin a ‘Pop Everyman,’ Popular with the Fans – Review

Francisco Martin at The Mint LA - Review and Photos by Harriet Kaplan
Francisco Martin at The Mint LA - Review and Photos by Harriet Kaplan

Review and Photos by HARRIET KAPLAN

The scene inside the The Mint was bursting with life the other night when Francisco Martin hit the stage.

There was a line around the block for this well-adored American Idol alum Martin, who commanded the presence of all the fans inside — and those trying to get inside — The Mint.

He’s a likable and down-to-earth presence and considered a “modern pop everyman.” As a singer, Martin possesses an emotional delivery and easy charm, but he also seems very real as a person despite his inherent talent and abilities.

Francisco Martin at The Mint LA - Review and Photos by Harriet Kaplan
Francisco Martin at The Mint – Review and Photos by Harriet Kaplan

This was apparent in the way he came across during the show: He was approachable and humble. Not only did Martin play guitar, but he sat behind the drum kit at one point, marveling and dazzling the audience with his percussive skills and know-how. After all, Martin is multi-instrumentalist. All of this occurred during his enjoyable 12-song set composed of original material that reflected a nostalgic pop and R&B sensibility.

The music bug hit Martin, a San Francisco native, early in life, when he began singing and playing drums at the age of nine. He went on to master the guitar, piano, and many other instruments. Though one could say Martin is the sum of his influences, like many artists before him, having listened to his parents’ music and absorbing their tastes and styles which included rock and soul.  He had managed put his own signature mark and stamp on the tunes and make them “his own.”

Francisco Martin at The Mint LA - Review and Photos by Harriet Kaplan
Francisco Martin at The Mint LA – Review and Photos by Harriet Kaplan

His vulnerability and gift for raw self-expression came through all the songs live from the personal and romantic (flaws and all) as well as his challenges with mental health. He even spoke about the latter topic openly, and bared his soul with local fans. He previously captured the attention of millions of fans during his stint on American Idol and he held the audience enraptured at the Los Angeles club.

Though it was on a smaller, much more intimate scale, it was an impactful show that included moving songs like “If You Need Me,” “Bittersweet,” “Swollen” and “I Still Talk to Jesus” among the expansive set list.

Francisco Martin at The Mint LA - Review and Photos by Harriet Kaplan
Francisco Martin at The Mint LA – Review and Photos by Harriet Kaplan

Francisco Martin Set List

Bittersweet
Swollen
If U Need Me
Don’t Be A Stranger
Goodnight
Only Lover
Too Damn Late
Hate If You Missed HIm
I still Talk to Jesus
Wild Girl
Alaska (encore)
She’s Beautiful (encore)

francisco martin on spotify