JMSN With Rochelle Jordan and DPAT Club Dada, Dallas Monday, February 2, 2015
It's only been a few months since Austin's Transmission Events formally landed in Dallas, having merged with Kris Youmans' Tactics Productions last fall. Artists like Charli XCX, FKA twigs and Mineral have all played here under the Transmission banner, along with a host of other electronic and alternative acts. On Monday night, they added alternative soul crooner JMSN to their already growing resume -- and, to the surprise of very few, the modestly sized Club Dada was packed tight to see his first Dallas performance since 2013.
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The Michigan-reared singer/songwriter landed in Deep Ellum for the fourth stop on his Blue Album Tour alongside emerging R&B singer Rochelle Jordan and Soulection DJ/producer, DPAT -- all of whom frequently collaborate with one another. The tour follows the release of JMSN's The Blue Album as well as Rochelle Jordan's 1021, both recipients of critical acclaim.
JMSN (that's pronounced "Jameson"), the Austrian-American singer born Christian Berishaj, snaked from the crowd to the stage virtually unnoticed, following well-received sets from DPAT and Jordan. The shaggy, bearded and down-dressed JMSN sprang right into the show, receiving resounding applause from the diverse crowd of 20 and 30-somethings for his 2014 single "Street Sweeper." Showing a veteran-like comfort on stage, JMSN and his band played with a bopping swagger that revealed a performer having a genuinely good time.
He spent much of his performance ricocheting between songs new and old, tunes of his own and those of other artists on which he features. Occasionally JMSN displayed his guitar chops and put his awkward, yet uniquely cool personality and dance moves on center stage. Cuts like "Girl I Used To Know," "All We Do," "Love And Pain" and "Bout It" proved to be crowd favorites as concert-goers swayed in an almost hypnotic unison to JMSN's often dark and romantic PBR&B ballads of love and loss. Hands were suspended in the air, clapping or clamped onto recording cameras and phones throughout the show.
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And just like that, he was gone. An hour had passed in what seemed a few ethereal seconds. JMSN had performed the near entirety of his works from 2012 to the present and had slipped away as half of the audience cheered for an encore and the other dispersed onto Elm Street. Whether it was deliberate or not, JMSN didn't return until the room was half-empty, whereupon he performed "Alone" and a handful of other deep cuts in a more intimate fashion with the remaining fans.
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Afterwards, the artists collected around respective merchandise areas near the club's entrance and spent the following hour signing autographs, entertaining the adoration of deeply-connected fans and taking pictures. JMSN, an immensely talented and tenured R&B singer with goofy dance moves and the outward appearance of someone who sleeps outdoors, is signed to his own label, headlining a national tour and playing sold-out shows to crowds of people who love his music and pal with him after shows.
In an entertainment industry that finds his kind a rare and infinitely profitable investment, JMSN and his musical comrades Rochelle Jordan and DPAT gave Club Dada one of its most impressive and well-received independent R&B performances in a while. There was a spark in the room Monday night that promised a home for shows like these in Deep Ellum's future. And it wouldn't be the least bit surprising if Transmission had a hand in bringing here, either.
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