20-year-old American pop-punk newcomer Jxdn performed his first-ever concert in West Hollywood’s iconic venue, Roxy Theatre, last Saturday night, the 17th of July. It was an exclusive event for a small audience; 100 fans (aged 16+) who donated to MusiCares – a charity that provides millions of dollars a year in health, financial and rehabilitation resources to people in the music industry – could win tickets and those who weren’t lucky enough received a link and a password for the online livestream. Alongside the fans, industry professionals, friends and family were also in attendance.
Because of the setting, the gig felt extremely intimate and Jxdn mentioned that he could see every single person from the stage, interacting with them throughout the concert. As he spotted a girl in the front row who had the same tattoo as him, he asked her if she could play the guitar and then gifted her one of his – immediately causing her to cry hysterically, just like a true fangirl does. Jxdn’s energy and stage presence was immaculate, he seemed genuinely happy and humbled to see people sing his songs back at him.
Almost throughout his whole performance, the playback backtrack was playing way louder than he was singing live on stage, and in the few moments you could actually hear him, he didn’t sound as confident yet but this might be because of the first time jitters. Avoiding to sing certain high notes, he tried to sing them in a lower key or harmonise with the playback. One of his popular single releases – ‘So What!’ – got changed up for the live gig and was performed as an acoustic version, in a totally different key, which was an interesting switch-up and came as a surprise as he introduced the song as the one that made him dive further into the punk-scene, yet he performed it as a ballad. After an hour, with a couple of songs from the album still missing, the concert was over and he left the stage. Due to fans demanding another song and yelling for him to come back, he did in fact come back upstage – shirtless, supposedly inspired by his idol Justin Bieber – and brought Travis Barker as his drummer and fellow newcomer and girlfriend Nessa Barrett as his feature with him to perform their collaboration ‘La Di Die’. Barrett’s voice was barely audible, which at this point proved that it was the venue’s or livestreams fault since there have been issues with the audio quality since the beginning, whereas Jxdn screamed the lyrics until his voice broke. Before they all left the stage for good, he and Barrett shared a little kissy-moment in front of the audience and Jxdn once again turned to his fans, thanked them for coming, told them how much he actually appreciates their love and support and threw his beanie into the audience.
Jxdn’s first venture into the live scene was a great attempt of showing his fans what he represents. And since his energy and confidence were radiant and the audience seemed to have an amazing time, this was a great starting point to what’s bound to be an uphill climb in the industry.
Written by: Vicky Madzak