The Fonda Theater in Los Angeles played host to British pop star, Jess Glynne known for her soulful vocals on tracks with Clean Bandit and Gorgon City.
As the curtain opens to reveal the stage, each band member walks out to a full crowd – taking their place for the night that’s about to unfold. Playing the first few notes of “Ain’t Got Far to Go”, Ms. Glynne comes onstage to a roar of applause and screams.
Dressed in a cloud shaped gown, red curls bouncing in the light, her voice echoes through your soul and exits your feet resulting in an epic dance party. Everyone in attendance is immediately swaying along to Jess’s every word, bouncing to the beat and dancing among strangers whose smiles are beaming.
Warming up the crowd, Jess moves on to the summer anthem of 2014: “Rather Be”, a song she’s featured on with Clean Bandit but her voice is the crucial element to it’s success. It was instantly recognizable by the crowd who sang back every word.
Let me just say, her transitions are slicker than any other. Just when you think you have a moment to catch your breath you’re taken away by the next song. The Brits really know how to put on a show as Ms. Glynne belts out “Love Me”. She walks over to the guitarist as she sings, “Let’s have a party, only guest is you,” and she pauses to give way for a guitar solo so heavy it shook the room.
It’s a dance party everywhere you look, strangers become friends due to their mutual respect and admiration for Ms. Glynne.
As Jess Glynne takes a moment to speak with the crowd she announces that Los Angeles is the last leg of her U.S. tour. She makes it look so easy, her voice and her energy hasn’t diminished – if anything it’s contagious, a rare talent and I’m glad I got to see it live.
One thing that I took notice is that her backup singers are not in the rear of the stage but featured front and center, alongside Ms. Glynne. Which is a powerful testament to what Ms. Glynne is all about – her voice. There’s no pyrotechnics, smoke machines or trippy projections – she doesn’t need any of that. In a world of showmanship and autotune, it’s refreshing to know that there are artists who are pure talent.
She asks the crowd, “Have you ever had those days where, why me?” A simple statement that rings true bringing about a slower version of her vocal range with the track “Why Me?”
Once the energy mellowed out, no time to wallow, she brings the heat calling for a killer drum intro bringing our Thursday night back to life. “My Love”, a track that shakes us all back to life, I’m in awe at her voice – definitely better than the recording.
Jess speaks with us as she drinks her water, “I’m so unfit. I never wear dresses!” Just with this statement the crowd falls for her even more, she’s so relatable and humble. She’s just like us but with a killer voice.
Ms. Glynne transitions into a Amy Winehouse cover, “Tears Dry On Their Own”, her voice and Amy’s is a match made in vocal heaven.
She dedicates “Take Me Home” to her best friend because she’s going through something and we feel the love emitting from her lyrics, “space will make you better and time will make you heal.”
Jess is in control of the vibes, “Should we lift the spirits within the room? Are you ready to dance!?” She crescendos into a dance filled pop anthem with “You Can Find Me”. If you’re looking to spend a night forgetting about your worries then go to a Jess Glynne concert. She tells us, “Time flies when you’re having fun!” She couldn’t be more right.
Another banger from her album, “Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself”, she finishes with a vocal range so bone chilling I can’t remember where I parked my car.
As she exits the stage, we’re not convinced she’s done yet – the audience is buzzing with excitement as we call her name in hopes to bring her back for one more song.
The floor is vibrating from the gentle rumble and yelling begins to echo through my ears as the keyboardist comes back onstage. Followed by the guitarist, drummer and singers – here we go.
We can hear her start with, “Standing in a crowded room and I can’t see your face”, the opening lines to “Hold My Hand” but we haven’t caught a glimpse of her yet. “Los Angeles!” she appears standing on the drummer’s elevated stage. Her biggest hit, everyone sings back the words with great fervor.
As she glides to the front of the stage everyone in attendance stands in awe as she brings the night to a roaring end. I’m hoping I could sneak myself onto her plane so I can go across the pond and attend every show in her native UK.