In this week's print edition I interviewed and wrote about Willis Earl Beal, who hopes his art will take precedence over his backstory. I caught Beal earlier this week in Los Angeles and believe, based on his stunning performance, that it won't take long.

Indeed, Beal's voice is a striking instrument. His stage presence is equally magnetic.

The show began with a recitation of a Bukowski poem. Beal then sat and strummed, arched and crooned, skronked and shouted, purred and emoted. Just phenomenal. And again—the sloppily sketched demos available on his debut, Acousmatic Sorcery bear little resemblance to the force of nature that is Beal in person.

As the first notes of his voiced opened up, swelling to grip and envelop the entire room, I felt the hair on the back of my neck raise.

Do not miss him, Sunday at Holocene.

A little taste of Beal's closer, sung a capella to the audience clap:

Lots more photos after the jump.