There were a number of acts worth talking about at the Highlander open mic last night, but I’m going to devote this post to David Woroner, 15, from Toronto. This kid just stole the show, stole the night, ran away with everyone’s hearts.
I had noticed in a first glance behind me at one point this very bizarre looking adult who just did not fit in The Highlander – until I realized that this was not a bizarre-looking adult at all. It was a 15-year-old kid from Toronto, on holidays in Paris with his dad and a family friend. The Kid, as he should be known, arrived a little later than most of the performers, and Thomas Brun decided to fit him in on the list, and went and asked a few people if it was okay for The Kid to go before them. I don’t know how many performers were asked, but when it came to me, I said, “Sure, of course, no problem!!”
But I turned and took another look at The Kid, and then I turned and told a friend at my table that I was sure I was going to be crucified. “I think I probably just screwed myself,” I said to her, “this kid is probably going to be some fabulous talent and he’s going to knock everyone out. Then I will go up and play and I’ll be like nothing next to his show.”
On the level of novelty value alone, I was pretty sure I’d be screwed. But whenever I get in a situation like that – or as often as I can – when someone really good or entertaining for whatever reason goes up before me, I always try to remember that all I – or any other musician – has to do as a response is to sing a song that is “true,” “real,” a reflection of your heart and others’.
In any case, Thomas later came up and said, “Change of plan. You’re going up now, the kid will go up after you.”
Phew!!!! I sighed relief. I threw all my heart and soul and body into my three songs: “Crazy Love,” “Borderline” and “Father and Son,” and I got some really enthusiastic applause and screaming of joy even during the songs, particularly the second two.
But I would bask in this feeling of accomplishment and love for no more than about 20 seconds when the audience suddenly took in the image of The Kid behind the mic and with the big guitar. He was so small by comparison to all the other artists that appeared – all adults – and so clearly a kid, that it caught everyone’s attention immediately. Then, man, when David “The Kid” Woroner belted into his chords and singing of his first song, he had won over the audience’s respect and love within the first couple of bars. “What the hell is this!?!?” In short, The Kid could sing. And better than most of the performers that went up last night. Not only that, he had some kind of clear, innate, rock ‘n roll attitude and an impeccable sense of rhythm, no struggle with the guitar and vocals, or if there was, he dealt with it like a pro.
I sighed a sigh of relief that I had not, indeed, been chosen to follow this act! I turned to my friend again and said to her, “You see!”
“Yes, you would have had a hard time,” she said. (For which I wanted to probe her to find out exactly what she meant by agreeing with me like that!!)
I was also disappointed, however, that my batteries ran out on my Zoom Q3 and all I had to record The Kid was my iPhone 4, so the sound would not be as good. Below are two videos, (the “creep” one ends with closer shots of him at the mic as I moved up the room).
After, I spoke to David and asked him if he played in open mics in Toronto. “No.”
He have a myspace? “No.”
His dad corrected one thing, “He has played at Grossman’s Tavern.”
“That dive?!?!” I said, in surprise for a kid doing such a place….
And David added, “I have a group and we have played around here and there.”
In fact, most of how he has learned his chops, it seems, is through this family friend, also named David, who comes around and plays with him in the living room all the time. I have put in a video below of that David playing “Psycho Killer,” in order to show where The Kid’s training comes from.
The Kid’s got a future, maybe….
Oh, and P.S., as soon as The Kid finished his three or four first songs, the Highlander just cleared out! Everyone went out to smoke a cigarette or something else, and the next performer had hardly anyone there to listen. It filled up again soon, and at the end of the night, The Kid went up to sing several more songs.