Jessi Nicholson at The Backstage LoungePhotos by Alex Ramon
Thursday nights are always the worst. Everyone is lethargic, but eagerly anticipating the beloved serenity known as the weekend. I have no weekends, so it doesn’t really affect me too much (no rest for the wicked right?), but I’m assuming the majority of the working force goes by a 9-5 Monday to Friday schedule, so the last day before the weekend starts is always the toughest to get by. All anyone wants is to go out and party, but the MAN tells you otherwise.You’re either slowly dying or living your life, take your pick, but you have to rebellious once in a while right? I prefer the later, so when Jessi Nicholson asked me to come out to her show at The Backstage Lounge, who was I to say no?
The night started off with a nice big band called 11 Hour Orchestra. They blew me away with their unique sound, and I must say, their frontman Dave is probably one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. His voice was soulful and tranquil, and when he busted out some freestyle, I couldn’t help but be amazed at his quick and intelligent lyrics.
Jessi came on afterwards to a packed crowd at The Backstage Lounge. It’s not every Thursday this venue gets crammed, so I bow down to you Jessi for bringing out such a huge and supportive audience.
Of course Jessi wasn’t the only one up on that stage. She had a supporting band comprised of Ryan Davis (Drums), Dave Spidel (Bass), Julian Pattison (Keys), Randy Ponzio from “Quest Poetics” (Guitar), and Megan Phillips & Coralie Rose (BG Vocals). The spotlight shined on all the musicians, and wasn’t focused solely on Jessi. It was more of a band dynamic, as opposed to a solo performance, where each member showcased their talent. Randy played amazing solo after solo, all the while rapping and working the crowd. Dave, who’s also the bass player for Eric Solomon, matched Randy’s solo with one of his own and wowed the audience with his intricate bass lines. Back-up singers Megan and Coralie created beautiful harmonies to coincide with Jessi’s majestic and soulful voice.
And it being Jessi’s night, she performed with passion and energy that really kept the crowd moving. She has one of those amazingly powerful voices that could hold a note for all of eternity (if she wanted to of course…) and shatter glass (not a good idea to do in a bar…). She truly reminded me of Juno award winning artist Divine Brown and at times, even reminded me a little bit of the Jackson 5 (strange I know, but I can only tell you what I hear!). It seemed effortless every time she struck a note, but it wasn’t her talent that amazed me the most. Sure she has an amazing voice, but she was also gracious for all the support she got that night. For her to take the time and thank the audience, and truly mean it, was good enough for me to be impressed.