May 12, 2007 by  

Boys’ Night Out at Red Light Cafe


By Kim Frazier

Red Light Cafe opened its doors to a very special Boys’ Night Out on Saturday, and I’m glad I didn’t miss it. I was a fly on the wall among men – the kind who sip merlot, have manners and sing some damned good songs.

Mike Rickard, Wayne Fishell, Sean Kagalis, Lucas Miré and special guest Richard Solomon performed original music that was entertaining, often humorous and at all times from the heart.

Boys’ Night Out at Red Light Cafe drew all kinds of performers, from the intense to the flamboyant. From left: Mike Rickard, Wayne Fishell, Sean Kagalis and Lucas Miré.

Mike Rickard orchestrated this gathering of local singer/songwriter talent as an attempt at presenting gay entertainment that isn’t synonymous with dance music and drag queens. He succeeded. With individual acoustic and lyrical style, these boys delivered their remarkable talents to an audience glued to their seats in an ambience of campfire glow – like “Brokeback Mountain” minus the hatred and secrecy. It was beautiful.

The show began with Richard Solomon transitioning from open mic fame to gig debut. Richard took center stage with a little anxiety, but made us laugh with a soft rap style and surprising lyrics such as “dropping shit like a pigeon” and something about “orange and oompa loompas.” No kidding. Musically, he reminded me of a cross between Suzanne Vega and Jack Johnson. And despite the anxiety, he offered himself with an honesty and vulnerability that stole a moment in time and made him an endearing introduction to Boys’ Night Out.

He was relieved when his turn was up. I was in love.

The remainder of the evening was an ongoing round of intimate lyrics, excellent vocals and strong acoustic performances shared equally between Mike, Wayne, Sean and Lucas. While they each brought a unique energy to the stage, together they shared respect and obvious enjoyment of each other. It was simply the most pleasant musical performance I’ve ever attended – momma rocking you to sleep while daddy reads you a story. It felt like that.

Wayne Fishell displays his wonderful silver toenail polish during Boys’ Night Out.

Mike Rickard combined a strong lyrical talent with acoustic skill and a beautiful voice. My favorite song was “I Forgot to Forget About You.” He’s also quite handsome. No, he’s beautiful. No, he’s a GOD.

If I were a gay man, he would be mine. That partner of Mike’s, the one he bought the old house with and inspired the song “Just Like New,” would have to hand over his keys and get over it.

Mike managed to slip in one Diva Tribute to Madonna: A manly version of “Don’t Tell Me.” He did a great job with that song and it reminded me of one of life’s true ironies, at least in my experience – only a gay man can truly appreciate a strong woman. Sigh. All the good men… ladies, you know the rest.

Next, Wayne Fishell of the Wayne Fishell Experiment! He must be “exclaimed” because he is a statement in himself. The most flamboyant and unpredictable of the boys, Wayne brought a fun, fresh playfulness to the show. I loved his spontaneity, lack of inhibition and silver toenails. He’s also a talented musician in all categories. In addition to acoustic guitar, he incorporated the mandolin and a tiny piano into his rounds. Yes, a tiny piano. Remember Schroeder from Peanuts?

Sean Kagalis was without a doubt the most intense boy on stage. The energy instantly shifted into high gear when this very talented

Sean Kagalis performs with real intensity at Boys’ Night Out. Listen to Eagle 106.7 for his tune “The Falling Song.”

singer/songwriter/musician took his turn, and I understood why he had to write a song about “why I play music.” I heard “trying to connect all the time” in a frenzy of lyrics and extreme guitar. Wow!

I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if he made the “connection.” Quite possibly he would disappear into another world, because he is certainly standing at the door. I had actually seen him perform “Highway 61″ at the 500 Songs for Kids event and had the same reaction. Simply put, his talent will blow you away. Be sure to listen for his latest recording, “The Falling Song,” on Eagle 106.7.

Lucas Miré ended each round with songs that were very much about the lyrics, easy on the guitar and a voice that commanded attention. He was the “laid-back boy” on stage and his songs, like “Fill In The Blanks,” were easily interpreted. It seemed to me that he probably writes a song as easily as he gets dressed. He completed each round with equal substance and repeated confirmation from a fan in the crowd who kept screaming out “Lucas!” That added some excitement to the ambience.

Boys’ Night Out with Mike Rickard, Wayne Fishell, Sean Kagalis and Lucas Miré? Warm and wonderful. If they do it again I hope I’m invited, and I hope they don’t forget Richard Solomon.

This girl had a great time.

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