Nestled in the heart of Soho, I found myself at a small club that seemed very reminiscent of a dive bar. Posters littered the wall and the floor was a bit…sticky. It was great. I had come to The Borderline for a chance to experience Cody Pennington in person. Once the lights dimmed, he stepped onto the stage wearing his normal snazzy getup composed of a waistcoat and tie, purple shoes, and slim fit jeans. He plugged in his acoustic and introduced himself, “Good evening everyone, I’m Cody Pennington, and I’ll be starting this show out tonight.”
He started the gig with two songs from his newest EP, “To Be Me”, I’m Afraid and About Love. Gently playing the opening riff to I’m Afraid, he slowly quieted the crowd to the point of hearing a pin drop. He created an intimate atmosphere that only an acoustic and vocalist could achieve. To which he followed-up with About Love. This track was a change of pace and got the crowd tapping their feet. Very somber lyrics hid behind this happy melody and it was true story-telling at its best.
Carrying on with the upbeat-ness, Cody introduced the next song as “one we would recognize.” The kick drum pounded, while he accented the down beat with a harmonic. I had no idea what this song was until he began singing. He started the first lines of the popular song Royals, and it instantly got my attention. He morphed this song into a spawn of Rock and Pop, building up the song and bringing down the house in the chorus.
Mr. Pennington continued with a few more covers of very noticeable songs, to include Your Love by The Outfield and I Can’t Make you Love Me by American singer, Bonnie Raitt. Both incredibly emotional performances that completely pushed Cody’s vocal range to the tip-top, and that is pretty far. My jaw nearly dropped at the note Cody went for (and GOT) in the second half of Your Love.
To close the show, Cody blew the crowd away with his version of Dirty Diana by the late/great Michael Jackson. This song kept me interested from beginning to end. The crowd shared the same sentiment as they erupted in applause after his final note. This song is actual planned to be released as a single along with a music video, so be sure to look for that.
Cody Pennington only took 30 minutes (albeit not the ENTIRE 30 minutes) to swing my judgment on whether or not I would like him. From a first-person perspective, I must say, I’m a fan.