Effortless Beauty: Jess Glynne headlines a sold out show at the Bowery Ballroom with opener Francesco Yates.
The good news? Three pieces:
- Francesco Yates, at 20 years old, has been writing songs for half of his life. That’s impressive.
- His voice, his guitar chops, and his stunning voice present an entertaining package.
- For better or for worse, we know how this show went down in every town.
The bad news? All that talent feels slightly ruined when improvement is needed in the audience engagement department (see good news piece number 3).
Let’s be clear: Francesco Yates has an incredible, incredible voice. And he knows it. And lucky for him, his audience knows it too. It’s simply stunning from the moment he opens his mouth to the moment he ends. It’s very clear why he is opening for Jess Glynne or “boss lady” as Francesco referred to her. But what his audience also picks up on, and reacts to, is lines that feel standard. If the ladies in your audience are not actually “on their baddest behavior,” it falls a little flat when you call them out on it and dedicate a song about it.
The talent is here, though. It’s undeniable.
“Everyone knows all the lyrics!”
This was just one of several prominent shouts that I made during Jess Glynne’s performance at the Bowery Ballroom. The fact that most of the audience knew all the songs and the lyrics is more than impressive. It’s downright mind boggling and perhaps, a symbol of Jess’ radiant track to stardom. Or maybe impending stardom by however one defines it these days.
When Jess Glynne took the stage at the sold out Bowery Ballroom on Thursday September 18th, her album had only been out for six days in the states. “I Cry When I Laugh” is more than a great hashtag: It’s bound to be on every girl’s playlist for the next few months. Along with “Rather Be,” which has been a spinning and radio station stable since last January, the album boasts several new tracks that are bound to be hits here. Casually mixing 90’s Brit pop with disco themes, all while showcasing Jess’ killer vocals, the album is worth more than one spin… per day. It should be noted, too, that the album also showcases the songwriting talent of Janee Bennett, who is responsible for the show stopping tune “No Rights No Wrongs.”
At the Bowery, Jess Glynne whipped through these tracks as well as an ambitious Amy Whinehouse cover with a stage full of band mates and two back-up vocalists. The harmonies were magical and added a rich element to the performance. We couldn’t get enough of Jess’ crisp, sweet, and beautiful vocals. It seem effortless. Beautifully effortless (and yes, I said that too during her performance).
You learn a lot about a performer when you listen to them underneath the Bowery Ballroom. Try it sometime: Head to the bathroom during a set. See what you hear. The vocals are right above you, and there’s no crowd distortion. Sitting on those couches down below the Bowery proved that Jess’ performance was effortlessly beautiful and fun, no matter how you saw or heard Jess.
Here’s my advice: Go to a Jess Glynne show to dance with your friends. The more lyrics you know the better, but be sure to be quiet and listen to Jess’ stunning vocals every once in a while. And get your tickets fast because as the sold out show at the Bowery indicated, alongside her rapid rise to fame, the window for next time will be small!
NORTH AMERICAN TOUR 2015
September 21 – Toronto, ON @ Adelaide Club
September 23 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
September 24 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Cafe
September 26 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza
September 27 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
September 29 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
September 30 – Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
Photo Credit: Simon Emmett