Concert Review: JAWNY at White Oak Music Hall
Written by Sorraya Gonzales, Amarylis Rodriguez on April 12, 2023
JAWNY and opener SEB give an exciting show upstairs at Houston White Oak Music Hall.
It was a rainy Thursday on April 8th, 2023. The weather could have been better, so I feared getting to the show would be a hazard. While we waited in line for the sold-out show, it started pouring rain. A breeze passed along with the water droplets bringing a chill in the air. Fans waited patiently outside next to the venue entrance. We were under a shed near the box office to avoid the rain–some people even came in wearing yellow raincoats and running toward the line.
Doors opened at 7pm. The venue had a small table for merch, a bar, and a stage with instruments covered by cloth. It was an intimate setting between the audience and the stage.
I let my hair down
F*** it, I’m the man
I went and blocked my family
I hope they understand
I went to paint my nails red
I know they gon’ gеt mad“F**K it I am the man” by SEB
The song sends the message of chasing one goal despite societal objections. He shares with the crowd that they should always follow their dream because that was what his Grandpa said. SEB describes his close relationship with his Grandpa and how he dealt with his recent passing. In a song titled “daniel*,” he honors his Grandpa and chases after his dream as an artist–an endearing tribute.
After the heartwarming tribute, SEB shares that this was his first tour. For someone new to performing live, I felt he demonstrated his talent with songs such as “loving you is harder,” “God of the Sunset,” and the unrealeased song “Sugar Honey Ice Tea.” Songs that describe how he coped with the anxiety brought onto him during the pandemic. One that resonated with me was “God of the Sunset” and the story of how SEB would drive out to watch sunsets in times of depression. Sunsets have also helped me through hard times, so I am glad he shared that experience with the crowd.
After SEB’s anxiety-driven isolation, he found himself at house parties in NYC with his track “3 Am in NYC.” During the song, he tries to create a connection with the crowd by having everyone raise their pinkies in the air. His interactions felt natural and not forced, especially when asked about his zodiac sign, and he said he was an Aquarius. He then ends his set with “seaside_demo” and asks the crowd if they are ready for JAWNY. The crowd cheered and soon began to wait for JAWNY to appear.
The lights dimmed a little after 9 pm, and JAWNY’s voice appeared on the speaker. He stated, “Houston, if you can hear me sing along.” As bright blue lights began to flash, the track Mr. Brightside began to play, and the crowd cheered with glee. Soon the track cut off, and JAWNY appeared on set, singing “Intro” from his new album. The blue lights turned to green as the band quickly transitioned to the song “strawberry chainsaw.” The green lights perfectly set JAWNY’s color scheme, with green being the primary color on his album cover and guitar. After “strawberry chainsaw,” the band transitions into the track “Sabotage,” a song that complements well with the first two tracks.
After “Sabotage,” JAWNY formally introduced himself and described how he enjoyed the small intimate setting between the band and their fans. Yet he needed help jumping around during songs since the stage was small and crowded with instruments. Despite that lack of space, he still finds a way to excite the chord between lyrics. He states that this is the 17th show on their tour and that Houston’s sold-out show deserved an extended set. Even though the JAWNY doctor suggested resting his vocal cords, he did not want to disappoint his fans and sang through the pain for the hour-and-a-half set. While I hope his voice recovers, he did a great job signing despite his vocal damage.
Two songs demonstrated both the band’s and JAWNY’s talents. The tracks “Trigger of Love” and “Take it Back” had amazing encored that did not miss a single beat. In the trigger of love, the whole crowd sang.
She will pull the trigger on you and the trigger is of love
She got the run, the gun
And the boom-boom, boom-boom“Trigger of Love” by JAWNY
Throughout this melody, the instrumentals were strummed multiple times. The drummer did not miss a single beat, and the basses hit every note to the chorus. It was a nice mini encore to enhance the crowd further. After the encore, the band decided to play slower hits such as “4Tounce,” “wide eye,” and “Adios.” In between these songs, JAWNY took the time to compliment people. Whether it was their hair, their hoodie, or fan art, he took the time to show appreciation. One fan even completed a JAWNY WWE t-shirt. Despite the appreciation, he would tell the crowd to scream louder when they were loud, which confused me occasionally.
The track “Take it Back” was where I felt the crowd to be the most hype. With the sea of strobe lights, hard-core drums, and a sick guitar solo, it was my favorite track of JAWNY’s. Although he did have an issue with his guitars during the first rendition, he acted professionally and performed the song again effortlessly.
Other tracks that highlighted the band’s talents included “best thing“, “true,” and his viral hit “Honeypie.” After these tracks, the band played five more songs before ending the set. It was nice that JAWNY had fans get their money’s worth with a longer set, yet some children in the crowd tired quickly, and the audience started to lack energy. Despite the struggles, the band kept their power, and JAWNY sipped hot tea between songs to soothe his throat.
After a stream of colorful lights and a bow from each band member, the show ended. Overall, I enjoyed the show and thought the setlist was well done. Also, when JAWNY said:
Spread my ashes at a God D*** Buc-ees
I found that an excellent homage to Texas. The band’s energy and flow made the fan experience worthwhile, and I am happy to see people who enjoy playing music live with bright smiles.