OC Music Awards: Night 2 Puts Singer-Songwriters On a Frosty Pedestal

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Jackie Connor / OC Weekly
Alice Wallace

OC Music Awards: Night 2
The District at Tustin Legacy
January 15, 2013

The second night of the showcase series for the OC Music Awards featured five more acts to the mix of local hopefuls on Tuesday evening at the open-air District at Tustin Legacy. Dedicated patrons donned thick sweaters, jackets and beenies while the mostly female-dominated lineup, featuring Annie McQueen, and Alice Wallace, who's voices echoed with country-fed confidence through the corridors of the frosty outdoor mall. Last night's line up also included performances from Becky Holt, Cherokee Fade and Justin Soileau.

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Jackie Connor
Annie McQueen

Local crooner Annie McQueen did not hesitate to set the bar high as the opening act for the coffee/tea drinking crowd. Despite her admitted taste for whiskey, McQueen's vocals resonated with strong crystal clear tones to keep the audience warm. Her strong vocals were accompanied by organist Andy Toy , whose solos proved solid to keep the energy flowing. At the end of the band's performance, a mini-fan club of cute kiddos with flower bouquets flocked to the stage. Obviously she'd captured the coveted munchkin demographic.

Following McQueen was spit fire singer Becky Holt, who proclaimed this was her first gig for a sober audience--apparently she's not as innocent as she looks (that's a good thing). The multi-talented Holt busted out guitar with harmonica for her first tune and switched it up to ukulele after a couple of songs. Her sweet simple melodic sound was often accompanied by a salty demeanor with darker lyrics about tragic subjects as she simply proclaimed during her set "this is an upbeat song about killing yourself." Awkward? Yeah. Luckily most people we're too concerned about cramming next to the sad excuses for heat lamps spread around the audience area.

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Jackie Connor
Brian Duggan and Jena Slipp stay warm next to a wimpy heater at the OC Music Awards night two.

Another noteworthy bout of frontwoman entertainment was the blues-inflected, country rock style of Alice Wallace. Fortunately, this group's toe-tapping tunes restored the blood flow to my now numb feet with giddy-up rhythms and southern-fried confidence.
"I've been singing since I learned to talk," said Lead Singer Alice Wallace. "I was always one of those kids that wouldn't shut up...in a nice way, of course." Songs about roses, shitty break-ups still managed to keep the bundled crowd moving and grooving...or that could've been the hot coffee and flasks.

Critical Bias: Girl power! Yea, incase you haven't figured it out, I'm a girl.

Crowd: Dedicated bundled up band members, Tustin locals and the occasional on-looking Tilly's shopper.

Overheard: Before Cherokee Fade's mild cover of "You're the One that I Want," they let us know what they were about to pull. "It's from 'Grease,' it's a re-song." I think the word they were looking for is "cover."

Random Notebook Dump: Not only did the guys behind provide me with my overheard comment, in the same sentence, their Madlib conversation somehow managed to intertwine the words 'church,' 'pot' and 'Starbucks.'

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The District at Tustin Legacy

2437 Park Ave., Tustin, CA

Category: General

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