Hello, Hello: A Review of Lewis Watson at The Crocodile


[Photo: ‘Midnight’ album art]

Lewis Watson was one of those artists that was constantly popping up on my Spotify Discover playlist. His acoustic melodies and soft voice made for the perfect ‘Sunday morning,’ chill-out- for-a-sec-type situations. So when I got the opportunity to see him live, I was super excited. I hadn’t listened to Lewis’ stuff extensively, but since the concert, I haven’t stopped.

Jason McCue was his opener and it was the perfect way to kick of the show. Jason and Lewis have similar enough sounds to create a cohesion between the two sets, but are both unique enough to evoke different vibes from the crowd, which made for a seamless transition and overall flawless performance.


Jason’s set was honest, raw, and very, very entertaining. The best way to describe the tone of the room when Jason was on stage would definitely be comfortable. Audience members were shouting out questions, and Jason was answering them the same way you would answer an old friend. His sound is like nothing I’d ever heard before, but in the best way. His demeanor is shy and restful, but his music is anything but. Jason’s songs build—they start with light strumming, and then progress into heavy singing, and then he’s screaming, and somehow it’s still beautiful. My favorite song he performed was “Humans” (off his album, HUMANS, available on Bandcamp and SoundCloud), and I am not kidding when I say that when he sang the line, “I want a nice girl who don’t say much / Who’s there when she’s horny and hungry and such,” the most insane uproar of screams erupted from the women in the audience. (That line, by the way, is absolutely brilliant, because there is nothing I want more in a man than the understanding that horny and hungry are the two most important moods, and almost everything that goes down in relationships is based off those two things.) Jason also just won Sound Off! and is playing Bumbershoot Music Festival this year, so if you’re hitting that up, be sure to check him out.

One of my favorite things about small, intimate venues like The Crocodile is the sense of passion and community that comes with the crowd. It was easy to tell that every single person in that room loves Lewis Watson, or came along with someone who loves Lewis Watson, and it’s honestly a feeling like no other. The second he came out, you could feel the energy in the room shift, and people immediately started shouting different things at him to get his attention. And while a lot of artists ignore the fans and play the music, he was 100% responsive, which was really cool to see. There were these two “frat boy”-type men in front of me who literally ordered a pizza to the venue and ate it right in front of us. So of course my stereotypical, conditioned brain figured they were going to be annoying and rude and uninterested, but I was so wrong. When Lewis came out, you would’ve thought these men were rebirthed. They were grasping the air and on the verge of tears; it was so incredible. I often forget the effect that seeing your favorite artist live can have on a person, and it’s really nice to be reminded.


My favorite part about Lewis’ set was how communicative he was. He talked before and after every song, which created an incredibly inclusive atmosphere. As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t completely well-versed in Lewis’ music, but after every song, I could feel myself falling more and more in love with his songs, and him as an artist. Before one of his songs, he straight up said, “I can’t exactly afford a band right now, but I do really love performing solo,” and you know every single college student in that room was right there with him. It was just a super honest, super frank way of connecting with his audience.

sink or swimThis was the first Lewis Watson song I’d ever heard, and it’s still one of my favorites, so hearing it live was really incredible. I know a large majority of the audience was right there with me because everyone was signing along. There was one part in the middle where he put his head down and just laughed for a second, and you could tell it was one of those moments for him where you need a second to catch your breath because everything happening around you is just too good to be true. That’s exactly how I felt during this song, as well, so I’m glad we were on the same page.

made-up love song #43This is a Guillemots cover, and it’s the perfect song about loving someone, thinking they don’t love you back, and then finding out they do. So of course, Lewis sang it absolutely perfectly (I think I might even like his version better than the original…). He totally killed this performance. Right before he started, he asked, “Can you guys make some room for me down there? Like a little circle or something?” And then he climbed into the crowd and performed the song right there in the middle of the audience. I shed a tear. I also think it’s important to mention that he hugged the aforementioned “pizza-eating-frat-looking-boy,” and the guy began to sob. It was all very wholesome.

hello, helloIf you haven’t heard this song, the end is a soft, long series of “hello, hello”s. During the performance of this song, Lewis sang it out, then gave the audience the mic and had them sing it out. It was one of those infamous concert moments where time stops and you’re completely connected to a bunch of people you’ve never met.

into the wild I left this one for last because it’s my absolute favorite Lewis Watson song. I listen to it five times a day, so I was praying the whole time that he would sing it. The way he arranged it live was better than I ever could have imagined. It wasn’t rushed, and every line made so much more sense than it did before, which I didn’t think was possible. This song just reminds me of falling in love and how everything becomes less scary when you’re in love with someone. My favorite line is, “We’re perfectly intertwined / And if it’s quite alright / You could be my way of life,” and the way he sang it was better than I ever could have expected.

As if his performance wasn’t personable enough, Lewis Watson then stood by the merchandise table and didn’t leave until he met every single one of us. There was a line out the door and I waited in it (shoutout to the lovely lady I brought with me who stuck it out for an hour), and we met him. He was so kind and didn’t rush at all, and gave everyone as much time as they needed/wanted. I complimented his shirt, he said I looked familiar, and then I got a video of him saying hello to KXSU (check out our Instagram for that one!) Overall, I think it went very well, and I’m hoping for a spring wedding.


CAMERON PAYNE | Also he’s English and his accent is *heart eyes* | KXSU Arts Reporter


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