Martin Rivas at Rockwood Music Hall

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We weren’t going to go out for any shows last night. In fact, we had dinner plans with friends. Then I saw this tweet:

martinrivas Martin Rivas

My last NYC show until Summer2012 tonite 10p at Rockwood2. XmasSongs? Requests? WhoKnows?! Not me. @patryklarney at 11 @nightmareriver at 12

Wait, 5+ months of no Martin Rivas? (see below for a clarification). That’s a no-can-do situation. I contacted our friends to find out what time we were meeting, so we could finish dinner in time to make the show. They needed to do it on the later side, so we asked them to reschedule!

Martin was solo (with two exceptions). He played a mix of new songs (off his new, upcoming CD, produced by Alex Liang Wong), old favorites, Christmas songs (an original and a cover) and one of his famous oldie covers as well. In other words, classic (and wonderful!) Martin!


He mostly played the acoustic guitar, switching to the grand piano for one of the songs off the new CD, Brooklyn Accent (not necessarily the exact title). His guitar play was inspired, in particular when his first guest came up.


Alex Berger joined Martin for one song. Alex played the grand piano while Martin sang and played guitar. That was one of the songs where Martin let loose on a few tasty leads on the guitar. Alex was of course masterful on the keyboards.


When Martin sang one of his most famous songs, North, he called up another special guest (this was not planned, whereas I’m pretty sure Alex knew he’d be playing a song with Martin).

Bri Arden happened to be sitting in the audience, right near the stage. In fact, I knew she’d be there from this tweet:

BriArden Bri Arden

@martinrivas last NYC show until next summer!?!?!? I have a flight early the next morning but I think I have to be there for this!!!

True to her word, she made it! At Backscratch XV, Bri closed the show with North. She blew everyone away. Here’s one of the paragraphs I wrote about it:

Bri was awesome. The audience sang large swaths of the song with her, since we all know it so well. For the finale, Caleb Hawley and Patryk Larney came up and kept the chorus going while Bri sang in and around them. Stunning. Of course, Martin was triply moved. There was a long hug and private words exchanged between Martin and Bri on stage when she was done.

So, spotting Bri, Martin said that she simply had to come up to sing it with him. Thanks Martin, and thanks Bri, for giving us one last taste of your extraordinary voice before 2011 is a mere memory (as you see from the tweet above, she’s already gone!).


Rockwood Music Hall was full of love for the entire set. So glad we changed our plans to be the tiniest part of it. Smile


P.S. Clarification about no Martin Rivas shows until summer. After his set, I spoke to Martin for a minute. He told me that he was asked to appear at a charity event at Rockwood sometime in early 2012. Of course, for charity, he couldn’t say no. So, we might all get at least a peek of a song or two to tide us over…






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