February is the month of love, so the perfect time to celebrate my New Year’s Resolution by taking myself on a monthly date night to a concert at Café 9 (250 State St.) in New Haven, Connecticut. Who knew that when I bought my ticket to see an Imani Graham and Marielle Kraft double bill this past Wednesday, I’d be the gay in a sea full of lesbians. Café 9 might not be a gay bar but for a night it was.
I’d never been to Café 9 before but I’ve been wanting to check it out for a while. I thought it was a music venue but it’s more of a local bar that happens to have live music. There are stools and small tables around which is much nicer than standing for a show. The stage is a decent size and the sound is good, although at times the crowd was louder than the performer, especially in Imani Graham’s set which was just her and a keyboard.
Even with the roar of the crowd, Imani impressed with her mesmerizing voice and songwriting skills. She did a solid half hour opening set with some fun banter between songs. Her sound is very smooth and heart-felt. I’d love to check out a headliner show of hers in a venue where the crowd is there to listen instead of hookup.
Marielle Kraft was the headliner and she was backed by Sam Capolongo and Sean Gallagher from the band Chasing Straights, which is an awesome band name. Marielle’s sound is very high-energy pop with meaningful lyrics. She really works the crowd and gives her audience what they want. She was giving off young Melissa Etheridge vibes and had the lesbians on their feet.
In my gay opinion, this Hump Day was another successful date night with myself. I have a new place to check out local acts, I got two new divas to follow with some items added to my autographed merch collection, and I learned that even in a room full of lesbians, by going solo, I know I’m guaranteed to get lucky at the end of the night.