“I’m not really good at this whole ‘being famous’ thing,” a very modest Jessie J said into the microphone as she glanced out at a completely sold-out show in San Francisco last Tuesday night. The British pop star may claim to not be good at it, but she damn sure acts like she knows exactly what she is doing in every instance that I’ve seen her perform.
I always call it a true accomplishment when an artist is able to sell out The Fillmore in San Francisco. So much history is packed into the walls of that building. So many greats from every genre imaginable have played there. Secret shows have occurred from people you wouldn’t believe (anyone remember that FOUR night run of Metallica shows from a few years ago?). When a pop star that hasn’t necessarily been given the credit that they deserve is able to play the show that they undoubtedly deserve, it warms my heart. (Plus, with the Fillmore, you get those really cool collectible posters if a show sells out in advance.)
My next comment: DAMN. This woman can sing. It still blows my mind every time I hear her voice, whether on a record or in person. The show opened with “Ain’t Been Gone”, the first song off of her 2014 album Sweet Talker. We’re immediately led into one of her biggest hits, “Domino”. It’s followed by Sweet Talker track “Keep Us Together” and Who You Are’s “Nobody’s Perfect”. A surprise addition the set list was an impromptu cover of “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston.
The show changed tone rather dramatically at this point, and in a fantastic way. Audiences are accustomed to pop shows with massive productions. They’re all set in arenas, have some type of great big object and projections strewn across the stage, and at some point during the finale confetti makes its way across the top of our heads. Not this time. Fans experienced an incredibly intimate pop-show, one that will probably never happen again. Those in attendance witnessed a very special event indeed. Two acoustic songs, “You Don’t Really Know Me” and “Who You Are” were performed and everyone went silent. Usually, I can hear chatter in the crowd during acoustic songs, since that’s usually the cue for people to get up and grab another drink. Not this time. I think everyone knew that they were witnessing a soon-to-be superstar, one that will be more famous than she currently is, and made sure to not miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime performance.
The energy was kicked right back up to ten with “Flashlight”, “Sweet Talker”, and “Burnin’ Up” (my personal favorite of the night.) “Do It Like A Dude” brought the set to a close before she returned onstage for the three-song encore.
Towards the end of “Price Tag”, the number one hit from Who You Are, J notices an eight-year-old girl in the audience and hands the microphone to her, telling her that she can finish the song in any way she wants. Everyone in the audience cheers her on as she finishes out the song (and she didn’t do a bad job!). The show is brought to a close with two hits from Sweet Talker, “Masterpiece” and “Bang Bang”.
The next time Jessie J comes to the Bay Area, I can almost guarantee she’ll be headlining arenas, and rightfully so. Armed with a humble attitude, an incredible drive for performing and creating music, and a voice that will leave any singer green in the face with envy, Jessie J is about to take off. I can sense that big things are on the horizon for her.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.