The Black Creatures in A Mezzopiano Afternoon - The Black Creatures

Reviewed By Teresa Leggard

Fringe Reviewer

Full disclosure: I’m a process person. I’ll take sitting in on a rehearsal over opening night any day. So, imagine my delight when that’s exactly what Jade and Xavier offer with The Black Creatures in A Mezzopiano Afternoon. On location in what appears to be a rehearsal studio, the Kansas City duo—born and raised—gives us beautiful vocals, melodic keys, old songs and new, freestyle, and some banter to boot. And all in just under 20 minutes. They open up with “Elements.” Jade warms up from there and grows increasingly comfortable and powerful through the selections that follow. Xavier isn’t on background vocals, but instead lets his keys do the talking. The levels are inconsistent at times, the piano and vocals jockeying for first position. Fans of The Black Creatures will miss the electronic elements of studio production and Xavier’s flow, but the pared down performance allows viewers to focus on lyrics and musicality. Granted, this is a performance, so even with a ‘practice’ aesthetic there could have been a little more rehearsal before the rehearsal. But the chords, the kinks, the camaraderie—I’m here for all of it.