Far before I ever discovered a love for hard rock, my taste was a whirlpool of easy-listening indie and soft ballads that hit close to home. Specifically while I was quarantined, I found the most comfort in this type of music. I needed songs that soothed the ache of being alone all day while I was taking classes from my laptop and my parents were still going to work. One of the artists that got me through that time was Jawny. His songs first found their way to me in late 2019 with 4Tounce and Honeypie being the beginning of this journey. But, like I said, I began to find the most comfort in his music throughout quarantine and once he dropped 'For Abby' in late 2020. That album still means so much to me and remains one of my favorite albums of all time. Super Bad Mantra became my best friend and I's spring and summer anthem in 2021, and other tracks like When I Fall Apart connected me even deeper with his lyricism and style. So yeah, that's my history with Jawny's music.
Needless to say, it feels like I've been waiting forever to see him live. The Portland show was supposed to be in March, but he got sick so the show had to be postponed until July. And let me say, I have never been more happy that something was moved up like that because he announced a second Oregon show in Bend. Hey! Guess what! I live in Bend! So I bought tickets to both shows, obviously. How could I not? Another thing I love about Jawny: his tickets are so cheap I can afford to go to two shows without spending over like $80 total. If he can do it, so can all the other artists in the world. He's setting a great example!!!!!
July 20th, night one. I overestimated how many people would be in line because I sat there for three hours and was the only one in line until about thirty minutes before the doors opened. Lol! But, on the bright side, I got first dibs on a barricade spot. Being on barricade really butters my bread if you know what I mean. Why wouldn't you want the best view in the venue? For the run of rescheduled shows and the additional Bend one, he had Legwurk open for him. It was fun to see her again! She also opened for Still Woozy back in early 2022. Legwurk was a great choice though because she really brought and established the energy that would carry all through both her and Jawny's sets.
Jawny opened with Strawberry Chainsaw which was such a great way to kick off the set. The energy, the excitement, the happiness, the smile that hurt my face because it wouldn't leave, all of it felt so unique to him. For some reason, I felt less compelled to film the whole thing and to just be in the moment which was also a great feeling. That was probably just because I knew I was going to two shows though. You have to understand that I obsessively take videos because 75% of the time I literally black the entire concert out afterwards. I'll remember nothing if I don't have a video of it which I HATE, but that's just how my brain decides it wants to work. The first like eight songs of his set were so jam-packed with bangers that I was losing my voice faster than I'd hoped... But when I tell you Take It Back blew my mind... IT BLEW MY MIND. Probably my favorite song of his to hear live, it was such an experience. Honestly, I think it was more fun on night two because my best friend was with me so we got to scream it at the top of our lungs together. But still, I was having the time of my freaking life!
As per usual, I'd brought my "Can I have your setlist" sign and held it up through the last song, and he did end up tossing it to me. Setlists are my favorite concert souvenirs for so many reasons, but the biggest being because they're so unique to each show. In the case of Jawny's setlist, it had fun little scribbles and notes on it regarding the song order and all that. Again, that kind of stuff is unique to every show. Since I'd joined one of his livestreams a few months prior, I'd had the idea in my head to hang out around the venue and see if he came out to say hi. So my friend and I did, I think it ended up being about an hour, but before he even came out we got the chance to talk to his bassist and drummer who were both so kind and willing to sit down and have an actual conversation with us. I don't think artists realize how much these interactions mean, even with just the artist's band, you know? Curtis and Gambee took the time to treat us like people and not just Jawny's fans. So anyways, Jawny came out a bit later and I genuinely had the best time talking with him! It was kind of cool too because he remembered who I was from our Instagram interactions. That made me feel so special! We took some awesome pictures too, they're so funny and by far the best pictures I've gotten with any artist, and also asked him to sign the setlist.
"To Cece, 2 shows!!" How sweet is that?!
All of that fun stuff and it was only night one! I went with my best friend to the Portland show, and this was a sold-out show so we got there pretty early too. We stood in line for a couple of hours and watched Sam and Colby to pass the time (lol). Trying not to get worked up again thinking about how much I hate the Wonder Ballroom in Portland. Basically, they separated the people 21+ from the under 21 people which was a stupid decision. The thing about Jawny is his fanbase is primarily younger people, meaning under 21, and the way they separated the venue made the under 21 section much smaller. I'm sitting here trying to figure out how to explain how they sectioned it off but can't word it right so here's a really super awesome diagram.
The under 21 people couldn't be on barricade and were separated from everyone else. My friend and I were second in line and had waited for three hours to secure a barricade spot. I can't even explain to you the amount of rage there was in my body when the people behind us in line got to be right on the stage and we got shoved to the side. I didn't even know age discrimination was a thing but it IS and I was furious. Eventually, they had to move the barricade that separated us because there were WAY more people in the under 21 section, so it just became a free-for-all all to get to the stage. We ended up about second row, which was still great, but I was so mad about how everything happened. Avoiding that venue at all costs now.
This show was more fun because I got to experience it with the friend that I'd shared a love of his music with. While I do believe the energy in the venue and the vibes from the crowd were a little better at the Bend show, my heart was much happier to be experiencing it with my best friend. The Paramore concert got canceled again, so the Jawny show ended up being our last show of the summer together. We danced, we screamed, I cried during Fall In Love, we felt the love man. I was so happy to get to belt Take It Back with her, definitely created memories for a lifetime :)
Again, Legwurk brought the energy during this show too. She was so kind to the crowd and even brought some fans up on stage to dance while she sang. Everyone that Jawny took along with him on tour genuinely brought so much to the table, whether it be energy, smiles, or just kindness, they all made it a wonderful experience. Kylie wanted to meet him as well so we waited outside again like I had the night before. Another fan waited with us and she was the sweetest too, you never know what amazing people you'll meet at a concert. They all came out again and just treated us with so much kindness and gratefulness. Honestly, these two days restored my faith in humanity a lot, it healed some wounds. Just the fact that they took the time to learn my name and greet me again the second night meant the world to me as a fangirl but also as a person. We took more hilarious pictures and chatted for a few minutes before parting ways.
These two nights reinstated something I already knew. There's a sort of wholesomeness when you just know you're supporting the right artist. I've never been a fan of someone who took such measures to make someone feel special and loved even just through social media. I don't think I talked about this here yet, but I joined his livestream when the album first dropped. There weren't a lot of people in it, maybe 25, but I'm pretty sure that was because it was through a separate app outside of Instagram. He sent everyone who joined that livestream a care package for free, genuinely out of the kindness of his heart. I was kind of surprised when it showed up because I'd forgotten about it, but it had a sweet note, a copy of the cd, a tote bag, and a sticker. Again, all just from the kindness of his heart and love for people who support him. The other small things have mattered so much to me too, like consistently responding to comments and always making each supporter feel special. I've never ever had that experience before, and I don't think many people will. As I've been writing this, my heart is filled with so much love and gratefulness. I love that I get to be young and alive during this time in his career and go show hopping with my best friends. I get to experience this amazing music made by an amazing person inside and out.
I can't express how much appreciation I have for those two nights and for Jawny and his crew. Aside from the issues at the Wonder Ballroom, everything went perfectly and now I have all these wonderful memories. I'll say it one last time, I am so so so grateful. So happy and excited to support an artist like this. The world is a nasty place, and the music industry can be too, so I encourage you to find the artists that bring light and happiness to the spaces that are often dark. Alright, I'm done rambling. Thank you so much for taking a few minutes out of your day to read this and to take an interest in the experiences I so love to share. Your support means the world! And Jawny, if you ever read this, thank you for everything!
Night One- Bend
Night Two- Portland
Also, one last shoutout to Curtis and Gambee who made those two nights so much fun!