Fans of music’s most mysterious man were able to witness Allan Rayman’s show in the flesh on Wednesday night at Warsaw, in Brooklyn. The notoriously enigmatic artist filled his set with drama and theatrics as he created an atmosphere of tension and release throughout the night, playing his gritty classics and songs from his latest “Harry Hard-On” EP.
Throughout the night, Rayman made it a point to demonstrate that he wasn’t only on the stage to sing and leave – this was a production, even if it was simple. Outfitting the stage with nothing more than a table that held a bottle of wine and a clear cup, Rayman returned to this seat after every song.
On his way to his seat, he’d often have some sort of skit that played into the overall manic nature of the set, re-enacting classic coming-of-age moments that we’ve all experienced. Whether it was Rayman acting as if he was a kid who didn’t want to get up, or leave his room to come to dinner, Rayman’s dramatics added a theatrical bent to the show, which kept it interesting.
Fans were engaged throughout the entire set, many coupling off to dance face-to-face to his emotionally charged riffs and raspy vocals. Rayman used the entire stage as his own dance floor, taking his microphone stand along as his imaginary partner a majority of the time, offsetting the uninhibited nature of his flailing arms and legs, courtesy of plenty of red wine on hand.
Fans sang and grooved along with him, responding with cheers and reciprocated singing on songs like “Crush,” “Rose,” and his latest single “Poison,” which sounded more like a stolen Nirvana song in a live setting than it did a modern alternative hit – and I say that in the best way possible.