Cody Simpson – The State Theater – New Brunswick, NJ – July 17, 2013
I went to see Cody Simpson with the silly notion that I could relax and listen to this guy, see what the hype was about for this 16-year-old teen sensation from Down Under. I thought I knew what to expect; beyond thousands of screaming teens and tweens hoping that they would be selected as Cody’s Angel for the night. But I was more than pleasantly surprised, though it was difficult to relax and listen. This was his Paradise tour, promoting his first full length EP Paradise. He also included some songs from his new album Surfer’s Paradise (do you detect a theme?) that was released just the night before.
True to his roots from the Australian Gold Coast, his music is beachy and fun. He has a smooth, mellow voice; almost mesmerizing. And no it’s not his adorable Aussie accent – which you can’t hear anyway when he sings, though it sure sounds charming when he speaks. The teeny boppers all around me felt the same; every time this kid opened his mouth, before he had barely uttered a word or a note there was screaming and crying all around me. I was sitting in a balcony and at times was uncertain that the weight of all the jumping and dancing was not going to cause a disaster. If the screaming did not completely interfere with my Cody concert experience the bouncing and vibrating balcony did. I was actually a little nervous we would crash.
Even if he was not a talented singer and entertainer his fans would probably buy tickets just to hear him speak. When I say entertainer, he has it all. He is a singer (a good one at that), plays a bit of guitar, is a great dancer and writes some of his music. Do I need to mention that he is an adorable beach blond surfer “dude”?
His new album, Surfer’s Paradise is more mature and I find myself listening and wanting to hear more because I like it and not because I have to. It has touch of reggae, a touch of rap (both of which he pulls off just fine) and I hear a hint of John Mayer. It’s very pleasant and not at all reminiscent of a teeny bopper concert. And to make it even more respectable, Ziggy Marley is featured on “Love” and Asher Roth is featured on “Imma be Cool.”