Concert Review: Jacquees Live In Auckland
This was one of those shows where I felt like it could have gone one way or the other and honestly it was better than I expected.
I arrived just as local trio TRUCE was finishing up. From what I caught of the group, they weren’t bad and they have potential. They knew how to work the crowd a bit as well. But I felt like the backing track let them down. I don’t have an issue with artists using a backing track but when you can’t hear the vocals and you keep coming in and out of the track, it just seems like a waste of time. It also felt as though one was feeling it and the others weren’t so much. I sort of wonder if the small crowd had somewhat put them off. This is where posting set times can be a hit and miss as it can mean people not turning up until the main act which seemed to be the case. But as I said though they have potential and I hope they keep at it.
Next to take the stage was Richie Cattell, Darnell Wilson & dontfollowsimba. I was interested to find out that dontfollowsimba was a hype man that smoked and gave out weed. So while shooting I was picking up a few buds in the pit for the crowd that had dropped them. I felt like this detracted from the performance. As much as the crowd was into the music, they seemed to more excited about trying to get weed off him. But aside from that Richie and Darnell gave a great performance. Both performers worked well with each other's vocals and worked the crowd really well. I didn’t know of Darnell Wilson before now. He has incredible vocals and I’m interested to see where they take him.
Finally, it was time for the main act, the “Self-Proclaimed King of R&B”. DJ BG, his official DJ, took the stage to get the crowd hyped and ready. Then Jacquees made his way to the stage. I was quite surprised by his performance as I hadn’t heard much of his music and I didn’t know how it would translate live. But his vocals were clear and didn’t seem to falter and I really liked how he had backing dancers.
The 2 backing dancers (Reginald N. Johnson Jr & D-Ray Colson) were on point and helped add a lot of energy to the performance. I also liked that they weren’t there the whole time, it was nicely spaced out throughout the set. Jacquees definitely understood what an R&B performance is and how to work his crowd, especially the ladies. And the backing dancers weren’t doing the work while he sang, he busted out the same moves they did and he did it well. One of the main things I noticed throughout his performance was that he constantly had a smile on his face. I don’t know if it was just the show or the fact that his first Australasian tour has done so well. He even treated the crowd to a snippet of a new track he’s got coming out. Then to top it off DJ BG and Athena Angelou from Flava (awesome host for the night) let him know that they wanted to wish him an early Happy Birthday (His actual birthday is on the 15th). They brought him out a cake, the crowd sang him Happy Birthday and he blew the candles out. Full of smiles, he and his team departed the stage.