It was a night of great music under the stars as SOBs' Summer Splash Concert Cruises series continued with Elle Varner headlining this past Friday (August 30th). It was an MBK family affair as fellow signee Anthony Hall was among the talented list of openers and he did not disappoint as he performed selections from his upcoming soulful EP including "Emotional" and "Reality" for an audience buzzing with excitement. Setting his sights on conquering L.A.'s music scene much like he has with NYC with his monthly Live From Oz music showcase - which was conceptualized with manager Jeff Robinson - Anthony's goal is to welcome new fans and incite inspiration in his MBK team as well. It will only be a matter of time before his "underdog" moniker is changed to "superstar".
The main attraction, Elle Varner, exceeded expectations upon taking the stage. Her stage presence was vibrant and goes hand in hand with the energy of her upcoming sophomore album as she told us before the show that the project will take on the "fun" mentality of her mix tape "Conversational Lush" and the "seriousness" of her debut album "Perfectly Imperfect". This is clearly evident in the snippet of a new song, "I'm Gonna See You Again Tonight" and an acapella preview of the much-anticipated track "Rover", which boasts a co-production/songwriting credit from Elijah Blake.
Incorporating her core musical style, Elle basked in the crowd filled with her adoring fans as they sang along to acoustic versions of "Damn Good Friends", "Leaf", and a special unreleased fan favorite "Number One Song". The yacht rocked back and forth all night but it was nothing compared to the sounds of a soul-stirring cover of Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind" echoing throughout the performance deck. With her father, James Varner, on piano Elle rounded out the night with a heartfelt performance of "Not Tonight" then concluded the amazing night with her hit single "Refill". Elle spoke on how she felt arriving to the venue earlier, saying "I always love knowing that people appreciate me, it's as simple as that." Elle's presence and sincerity were certainly appreciated from beginning to end.