Anthony Snape is a man with a guitar, and in a world full of men with guitars at every street corner, college dorm and coffee house, Snape has found a way to rise above the rest and develop a mastery of the often stale acoustic act. With lyrics inspired by the vivid verses of Neil Finn and guitar playing fine-tuned on the road with the likes of Tommy Emmanuel, Snape has crafted a sound that stands up against the close scrutiny of the unplugged gig.
One of the first things I noticed at Snape’s recent performance at the Underground this past Tuesday was the lack of a stool on stage. The sense of the brooding angst often attached to acoustic performances was nonexistent as Snape stood confidently on stage, but little else should be expected of an Anthony Snape show.
“Hopefully it’ll make them feel good. Hopefully they’ll get some good vibes,” Snape in an interview before the show. Good vibes—great vibes even—were present in spades as Snape displayed his impressive catalogue, ranging from his earliest songs such as “Balloons,” a tune that caught the ear of former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi, to his most recent single “Say So.”
Released only days ago, “Say So” is an upbeat rocker that Snape is rightfully proud of. “I think it’s one of the catchiest songs that I’ve ever written. It’s one of those ones that sort of attaches itself to a particular phrase that you might use from time to time and every time you ever use that phrase again in your life this song will jump into your head.” As impressive as Snape’s back-catalogue is, there’s no denying “Say So” deserves a place on the top of it.
The recording of “Say So” released to iTunes earlier this month features Snape’s band; however, little was lost in translation when the song was played solo, which stands as a testament to Snape’s unplugged expertise. “In the back of my head I always have a band playing behind me,” Snape joked onstage. This statement was personified by Snape’s deceitful stage presence, as even at the Underground, it was easy to believe he was performing in an arena with a full band.
The confined spaces of the Underground provided an intimacy that suited Snape’s musical agenda perfectly. “What I get from playing to people is inspiration. I just love hearing from people, and I love hearing how music has affected their lives or how a particular song stays with them or helps them through a period in their life. That’s what my music is about. That’s what I want to put out into the world, a positive vibe,” Snape said.
For Snape it’s clear that connection is the name of the game, and connect he did. Telling stories and chatting with the audience, Snape was at ease onstage and seemed to truly enjoy the company of his audience. Based on the audience’s reaction, the feeling was mutual.