Live Review and Photo Gallery
Julia Jacklin with Christian Lee Hutson at Neumos
November 21, 2019
Words by Aarin Wright, Photos by Marcus Shriver
Julia Jacklin is delirious, and absolutely nailing a live performance.
“I’ve been on tour since February,” she admits. “So I feel insane.”
The crowd at the sold out Neumos show on Nov. 21 projects the same giddy delirium back to her as she glides through her discography of 2016’s Don’t Let The Kids Win, and this year’s triumph of a record, Crushing.
The sucker punch comes early, as she opens the show with Crushing’s close. Backed by only her guitar, Julia’s voice is crystal on each reassuring word of “Comfort.”
“You’ll be ok, you’ll be alright, you’ll get well soon, sleep through the night.”
The gut-wrenching continues as her full band joins the stage for “Body,” a musical sigh about an unfortunate past relationship. Even among full instrumentation, Julia’s voice demands adoration as it sinks to the lowest part of her register, and then moments later climbs to intensely controlled highs.
The driving rock of “Leadlight,” and the defiant “You Were Right” pick up the pace. Julia laughs at herself in between songs, sharing stories about her increased use of Australian slang, and going off on tangents about extended family Christmas reunions. After the climactic belting peak of “Turn Me Down,” she equates the enormous roar from the crowd to being on the X-Factor.
Los Angeles songwriter Christian Lee Hutson kicked off the night with folksy sad songs, his guitar picking impressive, and his awkward banter with the audience even more so.
“What do you guys want to talk about?” he prompted before fielding questions about his songwriting process. Those who invite and encourage hecklers are a rare breed.
While much of Julia Jacklin’s music explores life’s most tender moments, she skillfully keeps spirits high, ending her set with a singalong to “Head Alone,” and the highly danceable “Pressure to Party.” The night’s greatest surprise however comes during the final moments of the encore, when Hutson re-takes the stage as part of an on-the-road band named “Deep Heat,” to perform Avril Lavigne’s “I’m With You.” Those age 25-32, aka the majority of the audience, scream along to every word as Julia wails the 2002 hit.
The crowd is left in stunned and buzzing awe, already recounting the show’s best moments, before spilling out into the damn cold night.
- Cold Caller
- You Were Right
- Turn Me Down
- Good Guy
- Don’t Know How To Keep Loving You
- Pool Party
- Head Alone
- Pressure to Party
- Don’t Let The Kids Win
- I’m With You (Avril Lavigne cover)
Check out more of Marcus’s photos in the Julia Jacklin album on our Flickr page. – Editor