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A ‘Starry’ success for the Botanical Gardens

Though the evening was overcast and a touch on the cool side, the sellout crowd that packed the lawn Wednesday night at Buffalo and Erie County’s Botanical Gardens enjoyed an evening of food, wine and, best of all, live music.

The annual fundraiser is known as much for the wine, beer, and local cuisine on-hand as for the musical acts, but on this night, musicians from three continents took to the stage and delivered a pop-fueled evening of fun.

Up-and-coming British pop princess Katy Tiz kicked off the evening in style. If her beautiful British accent and golden hair streaked blue-green wasn’t alluring enough, Tiz, in her words, “left my pants at home,” and took the stage in little more than a bodysuit. While her stage presence may have gotten the collective blood of the male concertgoers pumping, once she took to the mic, Tiz proved she is more than just another pretty face.

Whether singing her 2014 breakout hit, “The Big Bang,” or covering some Destiny’s Child, Tiz delivered vocals as rich as the wine that flowed through the crowd with a charm that smacked of star-in-the-making.

With her debut album set to drop later this year, Tiz did plenty to broaden her fan base stateside with a performance that exceeded your average opening act. Before giving way to Australian pop stars, The Veronicas, she delivered a memorable performance of her highest-charting song to date, “Whistle (While you Work It”), and, in true 2015 fashion, grabbed a selfie with the crowd.

Judging by the buzz in the audience prior to The Veronicas taking the stage, they were nearly as anticipated as the night’s headliner, Andy Grammer. Unfortunately, what was supposed to be the launch of their U.S. tour, turned into a one-and-done for the Aussie twins after members of their band had difficulty securing the necessary documents to travel and perform in the United States.

Whether it was the abrupt cancellation of an entire leg of their World Tour, or something altogether different, the Veronicas offered up a listless performance in what turned out to be a relatively short, uninspiring set. The highlight being a (somewhat) spirited rendition of, “Untouched,” from the band’s 2007 album, “Off the Hook.” Aside from that, there just seemed to be something missing, a point that didn’t go unnoticed by many in the crowd.

But the evening belonged to Grammer. With his boyish charm and good looks, coupled with a voice that sounds like a blend of Harry Connick Jr. with a dash of Jason Mraz, Grammer got the crowd rocking from his first song, and didn’t let up until the final note was played.

Clad in black jeans, a white tee, and a James Dean-cool leather jacket, Grammer opened with “Kiss you Slow,” from his sophomore album, “Magazines or Novels.” From there, he turned up the vocal charms, laying out his best-known tracks including “Blame it on the Stars,” a high-energy song that had the crowd doing a two-step and swaying along with Grammer and his band.

The highlight of his set was the up-tempo, crowd favorite, “Honey I’m Good,” a (possibly autobiographical?) song detailing a man’s decision to turn away a romantic opportunity to return home to his true love.

Though he showed plenty of range in his vocals and versatility on the stage as he played both guitar and keyboards, there was little doubt by the end of the show, that Andy Grammer’s fan base loves with their eyes as much as with their ears. But whatever the reason they came, the crowd was given an evening of mostly great pop music, with the efforts of Grammer being the icing on the cake that was a sweet evening under the stars.

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