“This is like a dream,” said the girl’s trembling voice next to me. Another girl in front of me cried while her tinder date (I presume) kept an awkward distance, unaware of how to comfort her. A few rows ahead, a man bowed his head with his eyes shut, simply taking it all in. There were certainly varying groups of people at Julia Jacklin‘s show and it’s because Jacklin can touch upon anyone’s vulnerability.
On the 23rd of May Julia Jacklin played one of her two sold out shows at the Corner Hotel. It’s not hard to understand why she’s able to sell out these shows, as at 26 years of age she is a story teller and a voice of sweet emotion. After releasing her LP ‘Don’t Let The Kids Win’ last year Jacklin has been touring the UK and US playing headline shows as well as also supporting other artists like Whitney and Marlon Williams. I was continuously told by friends that I was a fool for missing her at Laneway this year, so I bought a last minute ticket for her first show at the Corner and now understand why you’d be a fool to miss her.
Melbourne artists Rough River and Jaala opened the stage. Jaala and her electronic production played, and I scurried through the crowd of all types of Melbournians from young freshly 18 year olds to older couples who enjoy a nice red wine with their dinner. She’s definitely a character who completely opens herself on stage. Playing at this year’s Sugar Mountain festival, she’s an eclectic musician to keep an on eye if you enjoy the electronic creation of a synth.
At ten on the dot, the Bee Gees’ ‘Stayin’ Alive’ played, the lights dimmed and the disco ball cast circles on the walls. Opening with ‘Hay Plain’ there was a quick juxtaposition between the disco funk and Jacklin’s sweet folk tuning. When listening to Jacklin’s record you’re astounded by how she can hit every note. I had doubt if that would be possible live, but she really is a promising artist. Lifting the mood back up ‘Leadlight’ was next, people swayed side to side as the nostalgia simmered through. Followed by ‘Motherland’ and a new unreleased song ‘Cold Caller’, about her baby nephew Arlo Jacklin, continued to prove her stunning voice and the range she can reach. Her band left, and she played ‘LA Dream’. It was solemn, and sincere, she was completely vulnerable but shared it to all of her crowd. And then the previously mentioned girl began to cry; it was an instant of sweet solitude.
The band joined her again playing ‘Elizabeth’ and a new track about watching dancing with the stars that ‘made her sad’ called ‘Eastwick’. Playing notable hits from the album, ‘Small talk,’ ‘Coming of Age’ and ‘Pool Party’ Jacklin left with an admirable sentiment, reminding the crowd that she isn’t all that sad, but can find the excitement in dire times. However, the show certainly was not over.
Returning back alone, a crowd member shouts, “please sing ‘Same Airport, Different Man’,”
“I forgot the words,” Jacklin embarrassingly admits.
“Who cares! It’s a good song, we’ll help,” replied the man.
So, the brooding beginning of ‘Same Airport, Different Man’ began and she wasn’t wrong, she did forget the first verse’s words, but the crowd helped. After that it was truly a moment of beauty. I think the girl in front of me cried again; understandable.
“This is kinda like the last hurrah,” said Jacklin, before playing ‘Don’t Let The Kids Win’. It was enchanting, sad and empathetic.
We couldn’t let her leave the stage, so she did an encore playing ‘Someday’, her triple J Like a Version cover of the famous Strokes classic, and as I shut my eyes and bowed my head, I felt myself in a hazy and ethereal someplace else, and it really was like a dream.