Jesse Boykins III's Brooklyn show on Wednesday (August 17) was so intimate that a really eager fan shouted, "Put your glasses on so you can see me!" And Jesse did as he was told, saying, "She right; I can't see." It's not that the venue was small; it's that JB3 gives so much onstage that you feel damn near connected.
Backed by a hardworking live band, he opened with "B4 the Night Is Thru" from 2014's Love Apparatus, and took his ravenous fans through all their old favorites. Thirty minutes in, he hadn't even gotten to the music he released just this month on his new album, Bartholomew. At a Boykins show, you get what you pay for...and so much more.
From the moment he steps up to the mic, you're in for a wonderful order of events. Here are the steps:
1. Jesse walks onstage with the top of his hair in two neat plaits, glasses on his face, barefoot, and wearing layers of short-sleeved shirts. I counted four shirts. Four.
2. The hair quickly comes loose; the glasses come off. It's time for business.
3. Jesse grinds, dances, smiles and grimaces his way through every song you love. Some lucky women close to the stage likely get pregnant from all the eye f-cking. Trust me, he's a very expressive performer.
4. If you're having a good time (which you are) he commands that you show him by saying "Schwaza!" He tells you this means "to acknowledge an amazing moment."
5. The shirts come off one by one, until you're left with this:
6. While you're recovering from the experience you just had, Jesse takes a moment to Snapchat the crowd. Then he hits you with the encore. Apparently, "B4 the Night Is Thru" is so nice he had to do it twice.
7. By the way: No one dances like JB3. No one. Here he is grinding his way through "Show Me Who You Are."
Right now he's only performing spot dates, not a full tour, including two upcoming shows with the incomparable Lianne La Havas. Get yourself to one of those performances to experience these life-changing steps yourself.
tags//jesse boykins III