JJAMZ – Cafe Du Nord

It’s been a ridiculously long time since I’ve actually gone to see a show. I guess you can say Noisette counts because I saw the Dodos and Pillowfight, and I guess I saw a few other bands perform over the last few months, but they’ve all been part of some festival or other event. To actually go see a band or someone else perform? Embarrassingly, that might be when I took my mom to see Michael Buble. And before that, the New Pornographers in 2010. Inconceivable! This is a dry spell I’m glad to be ending.

In any case, learning about JJAMZ was a semi-random journey of chance. I’ve been a huge fan of bands like Phantom Planet, Rilo Kiley, The Like, Maroon 5 (when they wrote Songs About Jane), etc. ever since late high school. Seeing each of these bands either split up or, in the case of Maroon 5, slowly degenerate in quality over the years, has been a depressing process. Thus, when I learned that there was a band that sounded like a mix of these bands, I was excited. For whatever reason, I didn’t continue to look into the band until my friend, by chance, sent me an article about the band, whereupon I learned that this band sounded like a blend of some of my favorite bands of my younger years because it was made up of members of those bands. Needless to say, I bought the album almost immediately. The timing was perfect because they happened to be kicking off their tour in SF on Labor Day. Hurrah!

Because of Labor Day BBQ goodness, trouble finding parking, and having a bum almost attack my car with a baton in the Tenderloin, I was almost an hour late to the show. Missed the opening act, but arrived right as JJAMZ was starting. I almost didn’t go. The friend I was supposed to go with had last minute work assignments and it was too late to convince anyone else to go with me. In the end, I’m glad I did because they were a fun, fun band to watch live.

The songs are so much fun. It’s been a long time since I obsessively listened to an album like I’ve been listening to this one. They truly do capture some of the best of their bands, all while managing to add a bit of their own touch and their own charm.

I thought that Z Berg had a great presence as the lead vocals of the band. She had a lot more charisma on stage than I remember her having way back I saw The Like in 2004 or 2005 and was generally a lot of fun to watch. She put a lot of passion and emotion into the songs, but would end them with a smile.

Also, Alex. May not have been able to make it out to the Phantom Planet reunion shows this summer, but Alex!!

Unfortunately, I did not bring Shiny New(ish) Toy. I brought my older camera and due to the lighting and a number of other factors, the pictures did not come out great. Nor did the ones that I took on my phone. In fact, I might as well have been taking photos on some old school camera phone, as I ended up with pictures of this quality:

Grainy to the max

It looks like I went filter crazy, but it was just actually the lighting.

All in all, JJAMZ was a fun band to see live and I’d likely see them again the next time they’re in the area. I know I really only talked about two members of the band, but they all really worked well together.Their songs are so insanely catchy too. I’ve had Suicide Pact stuck in my head for the last few days.

After their set, I bought a tote bag from the merch table and ended up meeting Z, who was very friendly. Too bad I’m crazy awkward. Also, the picture came out crazy blurry.

blurry blurry blurry. can barely see my face. Surprisingly the picture of Dr. Who on my shirt came out fairly clear.

Stayed around for a little while longer to watch the Superhumanoids. I really enjoyed them and would have stayed longer if I wasn’t worried about my parking situation and other old person problems like having to do laundry.

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