I first fell in love with Jessie Ware after listening to her critically-acclaimed Devotion album. I first fell in love with Mikky Ekko upon hearing his silky-smooth voice gliding across Rihanna’s blockbuster single “Stay” (that he also co-wrote and produced.) What a thrill it was to see both of them perform live at The State Theatre in St. Pete this past Wednesday.
Mikky crooned his way through current single “Kids” and of course the #1 hit “Stay” which he reminded the crowd that he performed at the Grammy Awards earlier this year…. and rightfully so since it was hands down the performance highlight of this year’s Grammy night!
Jessie kicked off her set with a cover of Martika’s “Love This Will Be Done” and kept the cover train going with Bobby Caldwell’s “What You Won’t Do For Love” and Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You,” the latter perfectly interlaced with her debut single “Running.” I can forgive her for not performing the heavenly”Taking In Water” because the rest of her set which consisted of staples “Wildest Moments” and “Imagine It Was Us” along with a brand new song were just as divine. I remember once trying to describe Jessie Ware’s sound to a friend of mine, and could only remark that she is this generation’s Sade… classy, sophisticated and just cool.
It was a welcome embrace to witness two newer artists in today’s crowded music scene solely rely on genuine talent and artistry rather than gimmickry and media stunts to entertain a crowd.
Working in the concert industry, one thing that I love and admire is when an artist emerges from backstage to mingle with the crowd and their fans. I was able to meet (a very friendly + laidback) Mikky Ekko who mentioned that he is still working on his album which should see a release date sometime early next year. He was also a good sport for allowing Rod,
Shane O’Neil and I to sing our “song“ that we wrote together in front of him. Granted, Rod sorta ambushed him with this spontaneous performance, but he seemed to find the intended hilarity in it all. (SEE TWEET EXCHANGE BELOW)
DEFINITELY take a listen to Jessie Ware’s soulful debut album Devotion, check out Mikky Ekko’s catchy “Kids” music video below, see them both on tour while you can, and read my friend Carole’s review on tbt Soundcheck that perfectly sums up the night (and where I “borrowed” two of the above photos from for this post.)
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