Last updated on February 18th, 2022 at 09:40 pm
It’s been over four years since Jessie Ware made her appearance at the Varsity Theater in Dinkytown. A lot has happened since then. She’s released two albums, had a kid, made numerous festival appearances, collaborated with some of the biggest names in music and had a few misadventures in Minneapolis (more on that later). However, for the most part, she has remained a relatively under-the-radar artist for a majority of music fans, those who have been able to hear her music usually end up hooked.
Her show at The Varsity was an example of this; it was one of those shows for super fans. The crowd was mouthing the lyrics to every song, and in some cases were driving hours from the east side of Wisconsin just to make it to a Sunday night show. Jessie herself was very connected with her fans, even responding to some of their tweets and messages on stage, including the girl who came all the way from east Wisconsin and had to get back that night.
As for the music, her voice was absolutely stunning. A soulful pop singer by trade, her voice filled up the room and sounded just as good as her studio work. She did not skip a single beat and showed her impressive range in both her vocals and vastly different styles of the albums. Songs like the power ballad “Midnight,” off her newest album, Glasshouse, showcased her ability to absolutely fill a room with her voice. While “If You’re Never Gonna Move” showcased an opposite style that featured fast tempos and light, airy vocals. Her most famous song, “Say You Love Me,” which was a duet with Ed Sheeran, also made an appearance sans Ed Sheeran.
Like I said early, her music never missed a beat throughout the show. Every song showcased her amazing voice. The backing band, which consisted, I think, of at least six different members, provided the extra atmosphere that brought her songs together. Ware was also great with the crowd, something that I always love in a show, and I cannot emphasize that enough. I’ve been to shows where the musicians seem like they just want to keel over and die on stage or just don’t want to be there and trust me, it ensures the fans don’t really want to be there either.
Her chats on stage really did run the gamut. She talked about awkward stage moments she had in LA, she asked about people in the crowd, and she brought up her last time in Minneapolis, which was a bit of a misadventure. It involved a trip to First Avenue after her show, partying with Skrillex at the secret afterparty, and eventually meeting Dave Chappelle at the said afterparty. Chappelle, after a few minutes of drunk conversation, ended up licking her ear. Luckily, the story stopped there (I’m not really well-versed in writing ‘adult’ novels).
Overall, Jessie Ware played an excellent show. It was one of the rare shows where you felt a connection to the person on stage. It felt like she was an everyday person that also happened to be an amazing singer, not an inaccessible artist high up on stage. I highly recommend checking out Jessie Ware the next time she comes to town. It may not be any time soon, with her being out of the UK, but I’ll definitely be there next time she’s around.