During Monday morning's SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference keynote, Steve Smith did a great job of teasing the official Conference party, set for Tuesday night. Steve referenced the party that took place during the precursor to the Evolution Conference, last year's Best Practices Conference, saying in essence, if you were here then, you'll have some idea of what we've got cooked up for you, but trust me, you don't want to be late with the entertainment we have lined up. Being something of a live rock 'n' roll junkie myself, I found myself instantly hoping to catch a hot new British buzz band at the party on Tuesday night.
Arriving just a little late Tuesday night at the Grace Bar, a swank new London nightspot located just off the Picadilly Circus tube stop, I was pleased to see that a band had indeed set up their instruments to play. Mysteriously absent, however, was any clue as to whom the band might be. Before the grand reveal of the band's taking the stage, however, there were fellow exhibitors to chat with, including my neighbors from the exhibit hall, Matt and Peter of Syntergy. There were also drinks to be enjoyed, courtesy of ERS, a Dublin-based Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in delivering business productivity solutions, who had generously sponsored the official Conference party. I noticed a couple of SharePoint MVPs in the crowd, fellow American Eric Shupps, aka the "SharePoint Cowboy," and Tobias Zimmergren, who had famously driven the 22 hours from Sweden for the show in the wake of the airport closures.
When the band took the stage, there was an instantly electric buzz of recognition throughout the room, and I was slightly embarrassed to have to ask Matt from Syntergy to tell me who the band was. Matt explained to this live music-loving, but reality show-avoiding (and thus thoroughly puzzled) American that it was Daniel Pearce, who had won Popstars: The Rivals (essentially the U.K.'s version of American Idol, as I understand it) with the boy band One True Voice some years ago, and who had just finished strong on the most recent season of The X Factor.
To be perfectly honest, I'm not really one for cover bands, but only the tone-deaf could argue that Daniel Pearce has a fabulous voice. The band's set included such well worn (albeit dependably crowd-pleasing) selections such as David Bowie's "Let's Dance," Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer," a medley of the Police's "So Lonely" and "Message in a Bottle," and a raucous set-closing turn on Prince's "Let's Go Crazy." The capacity crowd ate it up, and yes, there was even dancing at the front of the stage.
After the band had finished their set, Daniel was hanging around for a bit and was available to any of the attendees who fancied a chat, which I thought was pretty cool (and many attendees did indeed take advantage of the opportunity to meet the pop star). As it was getting late by this time, and I had an early start in the morning for the final day of the conference, my wife and I took our leave just as it was announced that the entertainment would continue downstairs in the form of a comedian. If the Conference organizers arranged for Ricky Gervais to play the private party as a secret warm-up to next week's three-night stand at the O2 Arena, please, nobody tell me that I walked out on that!
I was unsuccessful in my attempts to find a video of Daniel performing one of the songs that he performed at the Grace Bar, but I did discover a couple of notable (and most definitely recommended) songs to share. The first video is a soulful solo piano take of Daniel performing the Prince classic, "Purple Rain":
And the second isn't really a video as it's just a static image over a studio track, but it's Daniel's version of Gnarls Barkley's smash hit, "Crazy," in which he puts a very cool Quiet Storm-style arrangement on his take of the much-covered song:
That second performance points up a vocal resemblance to Gnarls Barkley's Cee-Lo Green that I hadn't picked up on during the live show on Tuesday night. Based on the live performance, I'd have described Daniel's voice to others who were unfamiliar with it as being akin to a huskier voiced Prince (for whose music he clearly has a great affinity), but there's definitely some Cee-Lo in there as well.
Thanks for reading my coverage of the SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference, for indulging me in taking advantage of the opportunity to do some music blogging for Bamboo for a second time, and thanks to Combined Media and ERS for throwing a great party!
Read our complete coverage of the SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference:
- Steve Smith is Joined by Brett Lonsdale, Eric Shupps & Spencer Harbar for the SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference Keynote
- Brett Lonsdale on 'Utilizing Roll Up Web Parts in SharePoint 2010'
- 'Ello from the Bamboo Booth at the SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference in London!
- Matt Groves Answers the Question, 'What Does Web 2.0 and Social Networking Mean to the User?'
- 'Three Days of Fulfillment & Awesomeness': A Promise Delivered
- Daniel Pearce Rocks the Official SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference Party