I only knew Allison Iraheta as the young red haired belter from one of my favorite seasons of American Idol. These days she’s rocking out with her band, Halo Circus who are doing an October Residency at The Hotel Cafe in Hollywood. Last Friday night she ignited the stage with her now electric pink hair, fun songs, and fiery attitude.
Halo Circus is a rock band, but they know how to bring it down before going full tilt. Allison can belt, but her voice has a jazzy quality to it, giving it a texture in its quieter moments that really gives the band its distinct mark. This was evident from their first tune, “Nothing At All” with its dramatic instrumental opening and seductive off-tempo vocal rhythms.
The thing that stands out most about Halo Circus is the passion that permeates every note of every song. Allison, in particular, is feeling it down to her fingertips and it’s always a pleasure to see a song just envelope its singer. I’m not overly familiar with Spanish, but thanks to the expressive Iraheta, I had no trouble understanding what the Spanish song, “Verdad”, was supposed to be about.
Perhaps my favorite song of the night was the ballad, “Guns in Our Hands”. I love how Allison’s voice can show so much power and so much restraint all at the same time. Other highlights were the explosive Duran Duran cover of “Do You Believe In Shame” and powerful closer “Band Aid”.
Allison mentioned that she wanted the night to be fun and that reflected not only in the band onstage, but in the audience that seemed full of fans who knew many of the words to the songs. They will certainly be back for more. You have two more chances to join them tonight and next Friday (the 17th) at 9pm. Hotel Café. Be there!
Here’s a Halo Circus music video for their song, “Out of Love”