Sarah Jaffe Enchants at Hometown Gig in Dallas

Sarah Jaffe
When most people were camped out on a patio filled with tortilla chips and margaritas, I was anxiously awaiting Denton singer/songwriter Sarah Jaffe to take the stage at the Granada Theater in Dallas. Personally, I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend Cinco de Mayo then with the talented North Texas native.

Sarah brought two local artists along for the ride starting with electro pop group Zhora. Unfortunately I was finishing up my Cinco de Mayo celebration and didn't make it out for the set but after listening to some tunes online, it sounds like it was a good show!

I did make it out to see John Singer Sergeant, aka John Dufilho, and must say my initial reaction was...confused. I'm not familiar with the Dallas born musician and was excited when the curtain raised to a full band, full sound, and what I was hoping to be a captivating live show. I did some minor research over my Mexican Martini earlier and read nothing but stellar reviews about Mr. Dufilho's new musical escapade.

John Singer Sergeant and Sarah Jaffe
What I wasn't expecting was the onslaught of "singers" rotating on and off the stage throughout the entire set. I will say, the music itself was fantastic. John and his musicians provided an array of tunes showcasing a multitude of musical influences everywhere from rock to funk, yes Sir Earl Toon even lent a vocal hand. But the entire set seemed a bit disjointed to me. I haven't listened to the record and it very well could be a musical gem, but the vocalists seemed very disconnected. Like they were more excited to be onstage and sing to each other, forgetting there was a sold out crowd itching to be included in the fun. Some of the vocalists sang with their back to the audience, forgot the lyrics, and even stumbled around like they had a few too many Dos XX's before the big event. A definite light spot in the set was when Sarah Jaffe joined John on stage for a few tunes...even though her vocals were secondary to the band and pretty hard to make out.

Overall I was left a bit underwhelmed by John Singer Sergeant and even more anxious for the headlining Indie crooner to take the stage.

Sarah Jaffe - Granada Theater
The crowd packed in around 10pm when the lights went down to a dramatic entry of Limerence before the curtain raised to a simplistic black back drop and over sized blinking light bulbs. The hometown crowd was beaming with pride and a humble Sarah Jaffe spilled her thanks and gratitude throughout the night.

I haven't been a fan of Sarah's for very long and just starting digging into her musical past after listening to her latest effort, The Body Wins. What captivates me the most about Miss Jaffe is her subtle yet powerful voice and insanely gripping lyrics. She's refreshing amongst an industry filled with soaring pop vocalists and empty songs released merely for enjoyment on the dance floor.

Obvious piano hooks and orchestral elements, usually saved for the distant background, are showcased dominantly throughout the music providing a dark yet seductive feel. Sarah jumped right in to her recent single Glorified High moving fluidly from song to song while showcasing her adorable personality. The crowd loved her and you could feel her ease on stage.

Sarah Jaffe - Granada Theater
Singing a mix of tunes off the acclaimed Suburban Nature and The Body Wins some of the standouts included Hooray for Love, showcasing the power and vocal skill behind even her softest tones, and Fangs. After finishing the final song Sarah came back on stage sans band and guitar to deliver an acapella  performance of Drake's Shut it Down. Again, showing another side to this multifaceted musician. To round out the night the band rejoined Sarah on stage as well as John Singer Sergeant, Zhora's Taylor Rea and Sir Earl Toon. It was a fun and perfect ending to a successful homecoming show. 

Sarah is bound to make a splash on the music scene and I'm excited to see what she has up her sleeve. Texas loves her and the Granada offered a perfect setting for Saturday night's almost sold out event (I think there was literally 8 tickets left, close enough). Check out The Body Wins and her earlier releases at Kirtland Records. Your ears will thank you!
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