Jack Garratt played to a sold out Baby’s All Right last night for his “first proper show in the USA.” The show was presented by Communion Music, who also enlisted the talents of Garratt for their showcase in Austin at SXSW this past week.
Surprisingly enough, this was my first show at Baby’s All Right, and the Brooklyn venue has without a doubt jumped to the top of the list of best venues in NYC. With an unbeatable happy hour consisting of $1 tacos (mmm, those tacos) and $3 Pink Baby’s (grapefruit + vodka), the Brooklynite filled bar had a less obnoxious air about it, and more of a “I’m the cooler older brother of all those other venues, and I don’t even have to try” air about it. That coolness helped me keep my composure when I saw Jack Garratt and Christian Letts (of Letts and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros) nonchalantly hanging around us peasants at the bar.
About half an hour past the scheduled set time, the seven-piece band that is Letts hit the stage, and then proceeded to tear it down. Despite the amount of dudes that were able to fit on that small stage, including some sexy horn action (never thought I’d say that), Christian Letts’ sound held an amount of power that just cut through all the nonsensical conversations audible in the background. Having been a fan of Letts, and you can imagine my excitement when I found out he was the opening act the morning of, their performance of “Charles de Gaulle” was probably my favorite of the set. This is probably attributed to the story behind it, in which Christian explained that he wrote it about a girl…who is now going to be his wife (and que tears). The real cherry on top though, was Letts’ reaction to the crowd during his last song – “Did that text go through?” Jokingly of course, yet completely right. Who knows, maybe she was texting her boyfriend about how great Letts is.
The crowd got a little closer, it definitely got hotter, and the stage was cleared for Jack Garratt. It was a drum pad, a synth, a guitar, and a man – a man with an insane amount of talent, charisma, and facial expressions. Despite the crowd going buckwild after his first song, Garratt was experiencing some technical issues with the sound. In the interim, he charmed the pants off everyone his “I’m funny without even trying” nature, adorable British accent, and probably the best beard + man bun combo in the game. And as if we weren’t swooned enough, he proceeded to do a cover of Mario’s “Let Me Love You” as both Michael Jackson AND Michael McDonald – it was genius to say the least.
“Fuck it, the show must go on”, said Garratt after a couple of minutes of technicians fumbling to fix the problem. The show went on, and we probably wouldn’t have realized there was anything wrong otherwise. A Jack-of-all-trades (how convenient), Garratt went from killer riffs on the guitar, to mixing beats, to powerfully hitting the drum pad, all while maintaining the perfect falsetto, and pulling out all the best r&b dance moves. The fact that he in himself is an entire band is incredible, and only further solidifies him as a real talent.
But falling in love with this teddy bear of a man doesn’t end there! Garratt was so humbled by us being there, and not at home watching Netflix. “I can’t beleive you’re all here. It doesn’t make any sense.”, he said. With his mum, dad, and brother in the crowd, Garratt expressed his unwavering gratitude and love for them, and how supportive they’ve been throughout the years. To truly show his thanks, Garratt politely asked if he could play an instrumental blues solo for his pops (as if he had to ask). It really was like a kid wanting to show his dad what he’s learned, and I can’t imagine what a moment it must’ve been for either one of them.
Garratt’s set included almost all previously released tracks from his Remnants EP, as well his most recent single “Chemical”. It was a new song though, that made my heart skip a beat. “Surprise Yourself”, which I’m assuming will be included in his upcoming EP, was incredibly emotive, moving, and just straight up addictive. Garratt becomes so expressive with raw feelings on stage, that you find it impossible not to be truly captivated and thrown head first into the tracks.