After three full days of filming for the Travel Channel's Food Wars, the staff and supporters of Alisson's Restaurant in Kennebunkport were ready to party. Whether the party was for a lobster-roll win over the Clam Shack will remain a secret until the show's August airdate, but there was a definite celebratory vibe at the Sunday-night gathering.
Entertaining the bar was local musician Brian Johnson, who has made a career of crowd-pleasing cover songs. With an electric guitar, backing beats, and friend Darren White on saxophone, Johnson displayed his vocal gift, as he perfectly emulated pipes as diverse as Neil Diamond and Five for Fighting's John Ondrasik.
The high-energy audience sang almost as much as Johnson himself, allowing for several moments of crowd-only vocals, more reminiscent of a stadium show than an afternoon at a restaurant. When Johnson played the opening notes of "Sweet Home Alabama," more than one person shouted "Turn it up!" in perfect time from the back of the bar.
With the performance space of about two high-top bar tables, Johnson controlled his own sound on a board kept within arm's reach. An additional control was mounted on his microphone stand, ensuring his professional sound.
After three full hours of music, Johnson was due to wrap things up. With couples (clad in Team Alisson's T-shirts) still making their own room to get up and dance, Alisson's asked Johnson to stay longer.
"The management said we can't leave until Tuesday!" Johnson joked in response, before starting in on Journey's "When the Lights Go Down in the City."
: New England Music News
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