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A fanatically devoted fan base showed up at The Echo to celebrate Jesse Jo Stark’s release show for her debut album, “Doomed.” The line to get inside the venue stretched all the way down the block; as fans entered they either packed the front of the stage or went straight to the merch table. They also came bearing gifts. A bouquet of roses and a leather jacket with “thick leather skin” written on the back (lyrics from “666 in the Suburbs”) were given to an awestruck Stark.
As the audience waited for the set to begin, they were entertained by a DJ setlist that was as diverse as the genre-jumping “Doomed.” The set ranged from Cannons to Elvis to David Bowie. As “put on your red shoes and dance the blues” faded over the speakers, the lights went out and the crowd screamed. The band entered and then Stark, dressed in red, entered the stage.
The set started with the “Twin Peaks” Red Room-inspired “666 in the Suburbs,” which also kicks off the album. For “So Bad,” Jesse Rutherford (of the Neighbourhood) came up on stage for the song on which he collaborated. The crowd was seen singing throughout the set. For “Slayer,” the crowd sang tenderly along, “I’m a slayer / I’m a heartbreaker / Save yer prayers / for somebody who cares.” For “Lipstick,” the crowd sang with country sultriness, “Your lipstick tastes like cocaine.”
Stark had some fun with the audience for “Pussycat,” asking various willing folk in the crowd to mimic the sounds of a pussycat. Stark described “Sugar High” as her favorite song off the album. Closing out the set, Stark sang out fan favorite “Fire of Love.” As the song reached a conclusion, Stark had arms outstretched to the fans who were pressed up to the stage and similarly had arms outstretched towards her. She left with a heartfelt, “Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Thank you so much.”
Opening up the night was South Dakota (ex-Hearts) in their debut show. The fans showed their love with smartphones in flashlight mode and another with “I Love South Dakota” scrawled on the back of his shirt while on top of a friend’s shoulders. The song “Dirt” was a particularly poignant song about the lead singer’s complicated relationship with God.
Jesse Jo Stark setlist: 666 in the Suburbs, So Bad, Love Is a Dream, Slayer, Patterns, Dandelion, Mystery, Cry on Me, Not Your Little Baby Anymore, Pussycat, Sugar High, Lipstick, Fire of Love. Encore: Trippin.
Photos and recap by Notes From Vivace