UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Cal Kehoe Rocks Lansdowne

Cal Kehoe Rocks Lansdowne

The Foundation Room at the House of Blues on Lansdowne Street is seemingly the perfect place for a calm night out. Decorated with rich Persian carpets, stone murals of Buddha and Ganesha, and the faint scent of incense wafting through gave way to the seemingly warm and intimate atmosphere of the club.

Despite the mellow atmosphere, professional live-looper Cal Kehoe came prepared to rock.

Kehoe whipped out colorful covers of both top 40 and classic “oldies but goodies.” His tracks ranged from a cover of Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” which got everyone singing and grooving, to TLC’s “Waterfalls.” He even gave Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” a surprising twist by mixing in a fantastic rendition of Santana’s “Oye Como Va.”

Live-looping, for those who may not know,is the recording and playback of a piece of music in real-time. Kehoe was able to play an entire song with multiple overdubs on a single track- live. By stepping on a couple pedals, playing a few bars of rhythm and bass, and then playing over the track that was recorded in that moment, a whole song was created and performed live.

Kehoe reminded the audience that everything happening on stage was absolutely live.

“None of this is pre-recorded, so anything could happen!” he said, laughing as he tuned up for his next number.

In speaking with Kehoe after the performance, he shared with us the vulnerability of live-looping: “You could accidentally record. If you hit the guitar, you hit all the strings. Now that’s recorded on the loop. If you make a mistake, you may not be able to undo it,” he said.

As the night progressed, the friendly audience became a little friendlier and got up to dance. After a request to play The Weeknd, Kehoe surged into a cool mix of “Can’t Feel My Face” and “Hotline Bling.”

This got the crowd moving. Finally, Kehoe got the participation he’d been longing for.

A long time friend was introduced to the stage as “just Dave” to join him for a single performance of John Mayer’s “Waiting On the World to Change.”

Kehoe mentioned that himself and Dave have played together for a while, and since Dave is from Boston, it only seemed right for them to play together.

Kehoe has the incredible ability to turn every performance into something personal. This is a feat not accomplished by many. Whether he’s performing in front of a crowd of 300 college students or 30 attendees at a club, he makes every set an interaction with the crowd.

Kehoe will be in the studio early next year to record a new album.