Kimberly Caldwell, Almost, but not quite.

Kimberly Caldwell
Hotel Cafe – Los Angeles, CA
1/31/2011

Kimberly Caldwell Hotel Cafe You may remember Kimberly as a performer on American Idol season two, you may have also seen her hosting shows on television. These days you can see her live, confusing these two roles in an identity crisis. Kimberly has everything you may need to be successful as an artist in America, but she just can’t seem to pull it all together. Which makes it clear at the end of the day what really drives a good performance home. Kimberly is a petite blonde with a really cute smile. She has perfect pitch, and hits every note head on with a unique raspy voice. Shouldn’t that be enough? It is.. for a local bar in her native Katy, Texas, but this is L.A. and a stage presence class up the block could have saved her.

Kimberly has a bubbly personality, and in between each song she would talk, and talk, and talk, borderlining on attemptempted stand up comedy at each break. The air of the energy between song segways was awkward, as she would lift the room up with jokes, then suddendly break into sad songs. She also continued to remind us how light in fame she is by mentioning her families presence repeatedly. While they helped to fill the room, she would state that she paid the crowd to cheer. There is a saying that could help Kimberly and that is to “Fake it, until you make it”.

The setlist included her single “Desperate Girls & Stupid Boys” which would appeal to tweens everywhere. Then after an array of more self imposed jokes she made way into the track “Say Love” which truly highlights Kimberly’s vocal abilities. It’s a sweet track that would have made a lasting impression had she not dampered the intensity of the song before hand. “Going Going Gone” is a track with potential, although it is better suited for Joan Jett to exemplify it’s full balls as a rock song. Twoards the end Kimberly made a cover all her own melding Pat Benetar into Melissa Etheridge, and it didn’t sound like Karaoke, it sounded like heaven for 3 and 1/2 minutes.

Maybe she is best suited at covers, as that is what America Idol has perfectly trained her to do. There is talent there for sure, although it’s hard to see it past her hand constantly being in the way, playing with her hair. Stage Presence 101, above good looks and a good voice, that is in fact what drives it home.

*Judge for yourself as Kimberly plays NYC this Thursday night 2/03/11 @ Dominion 428 Lafayette Street. BUY TICKETS

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