The first time I witnessed Penny and Sparrow live was when they opened for Johnnyswim last year. I remember the hush that fell over the crowd once they started singing, I remember their harmonies that took my breath away and I remember the immediate need to listen to more. So when they announced their headlining tour I patiently waited for their Los Angeles date.
The Hotel Cafe is the perfect venue for this folk-duo; it’s dimly lit, intimate and full of amazing and beautiful musical history. Some of the greats hit the Hotel Cafe when they were starting out; Adele, Jason Mraz, Sara Bareilles and Katy Perry are just a few. So Penny & Sparrow headlining here makes complete sense, trust me on this; they’re just getting started on their musical journey.
Andy and Kyle’s voices were created to harmonize with each other and I have the goosebumps on my arms to prove that statement. Not only do their voices perfectly blend together, but their banter on stage makes for a hilarious balance to their semi-depressing lyrical content. From joking about awkward moments on stage, like when Kyle said “thank you sir” into a crowd and the person replied “I’m a woman”. To actually having awkward moments on stage; like when Kyle was talking to the VIP section and then caught himself and said, “but you’re all VIP. You’re all very important” as Andy took a step back and laughed at his friend. The light-hearted moments on the stage somehow make the fact that they rip your heart open with their music feel a little bit better.
That’s the thing though, there is no way you attend a Penny and Sparrow show without feeling emotionally affected by the end of it. Whether it be in awe of Andy’s magical notes, or the emotion that hits your heart the moment you first hear them harmonize or when you catch a lyric that feels as if it was personally written for you; Penny and Sparrow will leave everyone in attendance of their show in awe by the end of their hour (and some change) set.
Their set contained new songs from their album Wendigo, older songs like “Gold” and a couple of covers like “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” (which I personally feel like they should officially release- take my money). However, I can tell you from seeing them live the first time, you don’t have to have knowledge of their discography in order to enjoy their music live. I say this from the most sincere part of my music-loving heart; their harmonies are life altering. Individually they each have their own strengths but when their voices meet, they break you apart and gently put you back together.
Penny & Sparrow is worth listening to and if they’re visiting a city near you then I strongly urge you to attend the show. If they’ve already passed by your city then take a moment and listen to their music. I, for one, can’t wait until they stop by Los Angeles again; they’re a duo I’ll be seeing again and again.