Beautifully intimate and passionately powerful. Just like much of her music. That is how Jessie Reyez’s second straight sold-out night at the House of Blues Chicago on Wednesday night (Nov. 9) for her current headlining YESSIE Tour. Can best be described.
Providing plenty of great vibes with her very beautifully intimate and passionately powerful performance, Reyez wasn’t the only one to impress the very packed and sold-out world-famous Chicago venue.
As fellow Toronto native Leila Dey opened with a pretty short, yet stellar four to five or so song set. That showed her very soulful great voice with some original songs. Mixed in with a few covers. That gained me as well as I am sure a few others as new fans. While singer and songwriter, Nija, with her great mix of Soul and R&B with a little bit of trap, provided a pretty solid set of her own too.
Then with two huge hand props in the middle of the stage that formed like somebody praying or praising God. To show how much she is a faithful person that trust in God. Flanked by her live backing band starting to play. As chants of, “Jessie! Jessie!! Jessie!!” Kept bellowing from the crowd awaiting her arrival. Jessie came out and emerged from a hue of smoke and blue light. As she went into the opening verses of the very Hip-Hop centric intro, MOOD, from her most recent album, YESSIE. Getting the crowd involved from the jump and having them singing along with every word to MOOD and BREAK ME DOWN. That really set the mood and let Jessie and all of the packed fans in attendance at House of Blues Chicago. Know what a great memorable and amazing night they were in store for.
An audience that was filled with plenty of various demographics from adults to single women, men, couples and even some parents with their children. Showed the very wide range of devoted fans that Jessie has accumulated in just a few short years. Since she really became a full time singer and songwriter. The way the audience knew the lyrics virtually word for word of almost every single song. Whether it be the chorus of, “The b****es you want want me. The b****es you want want me. I walked out the fight with no fvckin’ bruises.” On, QUEEN STREET W. To the very howling and emotional chorus of, “If you died tomorrow, I don’t think I’d cry. I gave you one too many nights. Don’t care if it sound cold, it is what it is.” On one of Jessie’s most standout records to date, MUTUAL FRIEND. That the packed crowd delivered easily one of the highlights of the whole night. By screaming each and every word at the top of their lungs (almost literally taking Jessie’s advice at one point during the show that if you didn’t blow out at least one lung you wouldn’t get the full experience) from the bottom of their hearts with such conviction. Showing the emotional depth with which Jessie’s music has hit her fan base and continues to do so. Almost like pure euphoria.
With the tour obviously being based on her most recently stellar album, YESSIE. Jessie of course performed such fan favorites from the new album. As, ONLY ONE, STILL C U and EMOTIONAL DETACHMENT. Even remarking on how she loves from a distance certain non-traditional relationships, like polygamy. While also asking who was single or in relationships at the show. Jessie admitted to being to controlling in a relationship and why she could only be the, “Only One.” Before going into her very remarkable and beautifully moving performance of, ONLY ONE. Jessie’s very contagious commentary for much of the song’s throughout the night. Having the crowd fully engaged throughout and making the night that much more memorable. As she asked things like, “Cuántos Latinos están aquí?” Which means, How many latinos are in the building? To which of course was met with an eruption of wild cheers, including one from me. As well as several of the mostly Latino(a) crowd. That also showed Jessie’s pride for her Columbian heritage.
The crowd’s energy was so palpable and energetic. Matching that of Jessie’s. As she truly prioritizes connection with her fans when she is on stage. Whether it be her letting new fans know just who she is. By proclaiming, “For those of you whose boyfriend or girlfriend or mother or father or babysitter dragged you here, hello nice to meet you my name is Jessie fuvk*ng Reyez!” To her telling everyone at one point to say hi to the person on their left and right, to ensure everyone in the packed venue was acquainted. For Jessie it is not only about being in tune for her fans in the audience to not only her, but to each other as well.
Jessie’s very contagious and palpable energy is also shown. In how she commented on how much love Chicago has showed her throughout her career from the very beginning. Up until now and continues to do so. As seen from the two straight nights of back-to-back sold-out shows. That even seen Jessie accepting a teddy bear from a couple of fans. That gifted it to her. With a very long note attached about them being Day One fans and like a lot of Jessie’s fans. Have used her music to get them through various obstacles in life and used as inspiration to better themselves. Which then Jessie asked if they were truly day one fans. If they can help sing along as she sat with her guitar to give a very beautiful acoustic performance of her completely Spanish song, Sola. That she commented she only performs in select cities throughout the tour.
Jessie definitely knew what songs to perform and you could tell was very precise with the setlist. That included crowd pleasing fan favorites. Such as COFFIN, IMPORTED, Figures, FOREVER and one of my all-time personal favorites from not only her, but ever. In, BEFORE LOVE CAME TO KILL US.
Not only did Jessie perform fan favorites, but she also touched on heavy subjects such as what it’s like to be a female in such a male dominated industry and how men could also help women in certain situations. Of misbehaving nature from other men. Which she touches on in, Gatekeeper.
Jessie was definitely hittin’ during her performance of HITTIN. As well as during a mash-up of her two standout 6LACK collaborations, FOREVER and IMPORTED. Before Jessie playfully shaked her ass like she did throughout various parts of the show. As she gave a very stellar rendition of, MOOD, yet again.
Though it appeared she was done, you know Jessie couldn’t go without an encore. Coming back out and giving a surpise performance of Dua Lipa and Calvin Harris record, One Kiss. That she co-wrote as a songwriter. Before sitting down with her guitar. As she gave a testimony to the work through hardships and adversity she learned she had to do and most everyone else needs to do. To make themselves move forward to better themselves as humans. Jessie then closing out with a very beautifully acoustic rendition of, Figures. That was the perfect way to close such a emotionally moving and beautiful show.
Jessie’s performance definitely showing an emotionally powerful and intimately moving side. That not many can tap into and will have you inspired to tap into your own intimate emotions to better yourself. After seeing her perform live. Jessie’s emotionally beautiful performance also showing why she is a right on the cusp of greatness truly superstar performer. That with even delivering one of the best performances you will ever see in your life. Still has a little room for improvement.