Bathed in the warm glow of a speakeasy lined with vintage books, Mercury Slim makes a venue in the center of Hollywood feel as intimate as his living room.
On a brisk April night in the center of Hollywood, I found myself in one of Los Angeles’ coziest venues. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the famed Hollywood Boulevard, The Study towers elegantly over the busy street lined with stars. An opulent archway lead me into into a vintage speakeasy style bar lined floor to ceiling with tattered books. On this night, disco lights danced over the empty stage and poured onto the dance floor that was just starting to see the slow trickle of concert goers and casual drinkers. To my right was a solo partier, dancing on his own to Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” while a birthday party to my left appeared to be in full swing.
As curious patrons wandered into the warm glow provided by the chandeliers that hung from the ceiling, LA bluegrass rocker Mercury Slim took the stage. Armed with an acoustic guitar and a signature wide brimmed hat, Slim kicked off the night with an upbeat tune called “Radiant Light.” As he drew the crowd in with his electric energy and impassioned grit, I couldn’t help but feel as if I were witnessing something much bigger than this room– the early shows of a soon to be rock star.
As the song concluded, the room filled with whoops and cheers of his newly indoctrinated fans as he slowed it down with the next song, “Lost in the Sound” — a love song for his girlfriend, who just so happened to be sitting next to me on the couch. What a pleasure it was to be able to hear such tenderness spill from his vocal chords and into the room as the girl it was written for watched at the side of the stage with moons in her eyes. In that moment, Slim made a large, open room feel as intimate as a bedroom.
The more songs he played, the more the patrons of the bar got into it, cheers exploding after each song, all to be featured on his forthcoming LP which is currently in the works. His shy, nervous stage banter sprinkled between songs had the audience practically melting in the palm of his hand. The simplicity and timelessness of melodies of songs like “Off My Chest,” a downtrodden folk tune about the rueful acceptance of a heartbreak, had the audience laughing, crying, and singing his praises.
For his final song, we were treated to a song so new it hadn’t even been finished. Yet he played it with such candor and passion that the missing pieces barely made a difference. Without a doubt no fewer than ten converted Mercury Slim fans left the bar that night.
The venue was snug and the crowd was small, but with music as intimate and heartfelt as Mercury Slim’s, it’s not hard to imagine the local LA rocker filling stadiums with adoring fans in no time at all.
📸 © 2019