Author: Duke Denham
Header Photo courtesy of Sol Republic
Last Wednesday, JMSN stopped by Seattle to offer the city a night of sensual, passionate, and exceptionally-performed R&B music with help from AUGUST 08. As my first time at The Crocodile, the show was wonderful.
Upon arrival, the security ushered me up to an under 21 balcony section which I wasn’t too pleased about. However, the birds eye view vantage point did provide a unique perspective for concerts that I hadn’t really experienced before. Being able to observe the crowd’s reaction to the artists was interesting especially for reviewing purposes. I also unfortunately thought that the show started at 8:00 pm rather than 9:00 pm, so I wallowed in boredom for about an hour waiting for the concert to start. Beneficially, the Crocodile provided seats in this section for me to sit on while I waited.
Before long, AUGUST 08 hit the stage with a set that surprised me slightly. Based off his latest album FATHER, I figured his set was going to be a spacey, atmospheric R&B venture. In some segments, it was. In others, like the beginning, he stripped everything back to just an acoustic guitar and his voice to emphasize his vocal abilities and emotion. In another instant, he invited his DJ up to the front to perform a rap song. With all of these different styles of music, AUGUST 08 covered a range of tones and topics. However, with such variety, I didn’t find everything memorable either due flat instrumentals or weak songwriting. However, most of his set did stick with me. AUGUST 08 definitely possesses a solid voice that’s filled with lots of character, and I’m glad I got to see an up and coming 88-rising member live. Standout tracks from his set were “Lately” and “Spiral.”
After about a 35-minute wait, JMSN entered the stage with his bassist and drummer to unveil his music to the audience. To put it shortly, I was very impressed with his set. JMSN has the talent to truly sell the music he’s playing. His voice is sultry, emotive, and powerful, and he easily nails every note of every song. Songs like “So Badly” showcased the excellent falsetto he contains. Not only does he sing beautifully, but he also shreds on the guitar as demonstrated by the epic, stunning guitar solo he broke out into at the end of “Got 2 B Erotic.” JMSN easily communicates all of the emotions and intricacies of the music he has created without missing a beat.
On top of that, he’s quite the personality to watch. A few songs induced some interesting, quirky dance moves from him. Just watch this video here to see what I mean. JMSN didn’t forget to connect with the crowd either. In between songs, he mentioned Seattle sports teams, requested for a new mic since the one he was using smelled, and thanked the crowd for the enthusiasm they exuded for him. He has a charming personality which was enjoyable to witness.
When it comes to flaws, the performance did suffer from a lack of players. With only three musicians, songs that heavily feature other instruments like keyboards or violins were assisted with a backing track. Because of this, the grooves and sounds of these songs didn’t translate the best. The set was also a bit too long. At about an hour and fifteen minutes long, the crowd slowly became more and more disinterested. Some people even left before it ended. In JMSN’s defense, the crowd wasn’t the most respectful, rudely talking over AUGUST 08’s and JMSN’s performances in some moments. Because of the time and the crowd, I mistakenly left before JMSN came back on stage to play an explosive, dynamic rendition of “Bout It” that sounded stellar from outside the venue. I should’ve known that the extremely fiery, passionate falsetto vocals at the end of his second-to-last song “Cruel Intentions” would’ve caused the crowd to want more.
Overall, the concert was fantastic. Hearing R&B from two singers with exceptional vocals is always an awesome experience. JMSN clearly understands the genres he plays and conveys the beauty of them with charisma. In my opinion, AUGUST 08 also has the talent and potential to become a huge act in R&B. Thanks to The Crocodile for an excellent first experience!
DUKE DENHAM | Can’t wait for more sick concerts in 2019 | KXSU Music Reporter