Concert Reviews

Jacob Metcalf's Album Release Gets Us in a Thanksgiving Mood

Jacob Metcalf had a love fest for his album Monitors on Tuesday night.
Jacob Metcalf had a love fest for his album Monitors on Tuesday night. Mike Brooks
It’s normal for an album release party to be full of family and friends, and Jacob Metcalf's didn’t break that trend. If anything, it seemed to double down on it. The Dallas singer-songwriter held a release party at the Kessler Theater on Tuesday night for his new album, Monitors.

Something about the show's warmth reminded us that Thanksgiving is a mere few days away, and that late on Thursday night, when the kids are asleep on the couch and the table has been cleared and the dishes stacked up, the host will bring out the last bottle of wine and the core of the group will gather around a candlelit table for those deeper conversations. That was the vibe at the Kessler as Metcalf delicately spun his personal and introspective music around equally confessional snippets about what he has been up to in the six years since the release of his first record, Fjord.

The artist has long experimented along the wide territory of world folk and sophisticated pop, but his new efforts takes his sound to even broader lengths, as he put it, "from the old realm of cinematic folk and into the new sounds of modern Western."

At one point, Metcalf sat at the front of the stage with his feet dangling into the audience, head down as a background track played. After a lifetime, he was rescued by his love interest. Hugs and confetti followed. Was it hokey? Yes, a little. Was it real? Oh, yes. As the band came back on stage, Metcalf had to borrow some tissue from the audience before continuing. He had been crying.
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Jacob Metcalf in his happy space at the Kessler.
Mike Brooks
That’s not the kind of performance you can take on tour and repeat night after night, but it is the kind of thing you can get from an artist willing to open up emotionally, and the Kessler, his family and friends gave him a safe place to do it.
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Jacob Metcalf gets in your face in the nicest possible way.
Mike Brooks
You may find yourself in that kind of conversation late Thursday evening. For those in the audience, we got a preview, or maybe a roadmap of how to handle it. And thanks to Metcalf, we know how rewarding it can be.
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Jacob Metcalf's candlelight confessional.
Mike Brooks
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Friends dropped by to help out. Frankie Leonie sings with Jacob Metcalf.
Mike Brooks
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Jim Metcalf, aka "Dad."
Mike Brooks
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Kristy Kruger slides into the act.
Mike Brooks
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Jacob Metcalf and band.
Mike Brooks
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Carlo Canlas played on Tuesday at the Kessler.
Mike Brooks
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Dan Bowman played the Monitors release party.
Mike Brooks
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Austin Lee Kroll.
Mike Brooks
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Ramon Murquiz played with Jacob Metcalf.
Mike Brooks
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Dour Burr was the perfect opener.
Mike Brooks
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That was a lot of fun. Jacob Metcalf at the Kessler.
Mike Brooks
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Mike Brooks

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