Iowa State Daily

By Jacob Beals-
Laura Rain and the Caesars along with the Vinyl Vagabonds brought their funky soul, blues and rock music to the Bluestem stage on Sunday night.

The show opened with local group The Vinyl Vagabonds playing a cover of the Little Milton song “That’s What Love Will Make You Do," which gave the night an upbeat start and excited the audience, with cheers coming directly after.

The Vinyl Vagabonds added in their own style to every cover they performed throughout the night. They made each song into a show by dancing along on stage.

One of the gentlest songs of the night was their cover of “Angel from Montgomery", a song about the hard times in life. Lead singers Jeff Hart and Mook Bascomb, who had a great harmony together during every song, sang with emotion.

“The Blues is My Business" picked up the pace again; the song was about the love of playing blues music. The Vinyl Vagabonds showed their love for blues music on stage.

Nearing the end of their set was an original song entitled “The Healing", the first time guitar player Kent Johnson, Bascomb and Hart all sang lead in the same song. The three voices added a lot of variety as they took turns at the mic.

They ended their set with big applause from the crowd after playing an upbeat cover of “I Heard it Through the Grapevine."

After a 15-minute intermission The Caesars came onto the stage and played an all- instrumental opener, which gave each instrument a chance to shine.

The Caesars' guitar player, George Friend, started playing another song while he introduced Rain onto the stage.

Rain started off by singing “Electrify", which instantly showed off her powerful voice and her unique expressions to the audience. She had a way of moving and dancing on stage that really helped the music come alive.

After that, Rain said hello to the audience and expressed her gratitude to be at Bluestem, announcing she and The Caesars were from Detroit.

Rain was very personable with the audience as she encouraged them to dance along to their music during certain points of the show.

They also played songs off of their newest album "Gold," including “Work So Hard" which showed off the range of Rain’s voice.

Then Rain and the Caesers dialed it down a little with their first slow song of the night, “Guilty Me." The slower pace allowed for longer, more drawn-out notes with light guitar.

This slower pace continued later with the song “Four Long Years", which fit the gentler blues style well with lyrics about the mistakes of an old break up and how those mistakes can make time move slow.

“Hard Times" was also played and Rain described it as having a “real raw vintage sound."

The song started out very mellow, with light music from the instruments, but the song become faster and louder as it built toward the chorus.

“Your Love is Not Broken" was another slower song that Rain showed off her vocal emotion and range, as the song encourages people to not give up on love. Rain sang the song as if she was singing it to a friend or lover.

Rain closed the show with “My Love is Here for You" and “Sunset," both of which were upbeat, ending the show like it began: on a funky note.

The night was a great experience for the audience with both groups giving a unique showmanship. Each band shared their emotions through song, encouraging applause and many cheers from the crowd after each song.