Written by Eddie Ferranti
Jan 23, 2008 at 09:00 PM
ImageGot an invitation to dive into the “Pop Music Pool” Wednesday evening at the Meridian in Houston. The gig was a twenty seven year old named Eric Hutchinson, who opened for “One Republic”. Found out I dove into the shallow end of the pool unfortunately.

Eric was billed as an acoustic soulful artist with “intelligent pop” lyrics, which hedged towards sarcasm and wit. Well what I saw was a dude who didn’t know if he wanted to be comedian or a musician, neither of which he was very good at. He pulled out all the cliche stops, ala “This is my first time in Houston” line, which after getting a cheer he said that was not true, but enjoyed saying that in cities to get the reaction. He did it freakin twice. I still don’t know if it really was his first time or not and quite frankly do not give a rat’s ass.

He played tunes from his debut album “That Could’ve Gone Better” such as “Back to Where I Was”, “OK is Alright with Me” and “Food Chain”. To say they all sounded like one long song would be an understatement. Eric took it upon himself to self promote his cheesey T-Shirts which read: “Eric Hutchinson is pretty good”. Dude wouldn’t even toss one in the crowd, teasing the young ladies up front. Weak. Then he spends a bunch of time doing a parody, I guess, of Justin Timberlake’s songs. Now I would not know a Justin Timberlake song if it hit me in the face, but last time I looked dude is a mega star and Mr.Hutchinson is a new comer on the scene. This whole bit further alienated me from the gig. The fellow has been widely acclaimed for his prowess as a pianist, songwriter and performer. Somebody is giving him a look. I think his “act” would play better (maybe) at smaller tight venues. When he introduced a song by hoping the crowd would accept it like a “One Republic” song, I cringed. And “oh” by the way, the song was the “OH” song! Yikes.

To sum this guy up works in the famous words of Lou Grant to Mary Richards on the Mary Tyler Moore show years back when he proclaimed that she had “spunk”…And LG said “I hate spunk!”

As far as the “headline” act,”One Republic”, they pissed this reviewer off before they even hit the stage. Making the clearasil cuties filled with teenage angst wait over a half hour past their scheduled start time oozed with arrogance. It pained me to hang in there JUST for the first 3 songs I was allowed to shoot. Yeah Ryan Tedder is a hot property in the singer-songwriter-producer area and he’s had a major hit with “Apologize”. Yadda yadda yadda. That and 50 cents will get me a paper. Their drooling pop goo was beyond puke to me. I don’t want to spend any more time mashing . I’m sure these bands fill a void for somebody, but I need to spend my time elsewhere, especially on a rainy school night…peace!