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Arts and Entertainment

Hotel Cafe Tour 2008 w/ Greg Laswell, Priscilla Ahn, William Fitzsimmons & Joshua Radin @ Henry Fonda Theater, 4/12/08

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Part one of three.

Today: Greg Laswell, Priscilla Ahn, William Fitzsimmons, and Joshua Radin.
Tomorrow: Meiko, Jim Bianco, and Jessie Baylin.
Thursday: Ingrid Michaelson, Cary Brothers, and Jesca Hoop.

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This past weekend, the 2008 installment of the Hotel Cafe Tour (MySpace) rolled back into town (last month it opened with stops in San Diego, Santa Barbara, Anaheim, and the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood) for the last of two sold-out shows during its domestic run -- Saturday was at the Henry Fonda Theater and Sunday was at the El Rey Theatre.

Saturday's lineup included Greg Laswell (MySpace), Priscilla Ahn (MySpace), William Fitzsimmons (MySpace), Joshua Radin (MySpace), Meiko (MySpace), Jim Bianco (MySpace), Jessie Baylin (MySpace), Ingrid Michaelson (MySpace), Cary Brothers (MySpace), and Jesca Hoop (MySpace). And while Sunday's lineup did not include Bianco or Hoop, it included Holly Conlan (MySpace) and Marié Digby (MySpace).

As described by the tour's website, "The concept... was to share the same community vibe with music fans all over the country. Artists performed solo and would then share the stage with fellow tour mates. No cookie cutter corporate American Idols, just real music, written by real artists, surrounded by real friends, who actually have a story to tell." Saturday's show was certainly a great way for fans to get a sampling of several (mostly local) rising stars in the singer-songwriter scene, but its duration (three and a half hours long) unfortunately left some artists such as Laswell and Ahn with a mere ten minutes to perform about three or four songs at best. Nevertheless, the feeling of warmth, friendship, and comraderie amongst the artists was really evident onstage, particularly during the final song of the night: "The Rainbow Connection".

The Hotel Cafe Tour resumes its tour in less than a week, with stops in Europe and (eventually) Japan.

Special thanks to Greg Laswell, Priscilla Ahn, William Fitzsimmons, Joshua Radin, Meiko, Jim Bianco, Jessie Baylin, Ingrid Michaelson, Cary Brothers, Jesca Hoop, the Hotel Cafe Tour, and the Henry Fonda Theater.