Tobias Jesso Jr., seemingly the man of the moment, played yet another sold out show last night at Baby’s All Right – and it was some kind of wonderful. The 6’7 Canadian has propelled into popularity over the past couple of months with the release of “Hollywood”, “How Could You Babe”, and “Without You” – all featured on his debut album Goon, which dropped a couple of weeks ago. Despite the heavy sentiments of his heart-broken lyrics and simple piano-playing, Tobias was a complete goofball on stage – as if us girls needed any more of a reason to swoon over him.
Opening up for Tobias, was the enchantingly beautiful Okay Kaya. New Jersey born turned Norwegian-native, Okay Kaya was simply a girl, with her guitar, sharing her feelings. Her voice was captivating, and her presence mesmerizing. Although she seemed to be extremely shy, quiet, and a little awkward, it was obvious that she was humbled at the chance to open up for Tobias, and at the extremely supportive reception she got from the crowd. Okay Kaya set the stage perfectly for Tobias’s set, but could easily just be hers.
From beautiful ballads to more beautiful ballads, the curly-haired charmer took the stage, and planted himself behind his Yamaha piano taken straight out of his bedroom. “You’re basically in my bedroom…” he said, “but the lighting might be a little different.” His comical interludes followed every song, taking away a bit from the mood and melancholy of his set. Changing it up a bit and switching to guitar, Tobias seemed to fumble with the tuning, but still managed to attack every song heart first. Regretting playing all of his guitar songs at once (about three of them), Tobias returned to his piano – an instrument he only recently learned to play, yet has an exclusive relationship with on his album.
Having played a packed Mercury Lounge the night before, this show definitely won on the intimacy front. Every exaggerated facial expression, every curl that fell on his face, and every cheesy joke that warranted a smile – all visible to us, all vulnerable to us. Most of the set included songs off the album, some that didn’t make it, and two cover songs – including my personal favorite of Ray Charles’ “Georgia On My Mind”.
Tobias Jesso Jr. is blunt with his feelings, words, and talent. There is no sense of doubt in his rise to fame-dom, and I imagine it can only grow from here.