I’ve been having bad luck on the show front this week. Apparently KISS didn’t feel like they needed me to review their show and Robyn was so sold out that the venue could only give away one ticket per outlet leaving me out of luck while my photographer from the other blog got to go check out the influential and iconic singer. Add a slip on the ice Tuesday morning that has me more sore than after a spin class and a busted headlight, let’s just say that this week has been rough. I knew I need a show and even my co-workers asked when my next show would be so I would stop being crabby. My crabby mood wasn’t going to be cured by just any show but thankfully last night’s show was so perfect that it snapped me right out of my funk.

Starting the night off in the most beautiful way was local songstress Jessica Manning. Unfamiliar with her music, her soft and beautiful voice instantly whisked me away from the crappy week I was having. Her unique blend of R&B, soul, rock, and a little bit of everything in-between had me and the rest of the quickly growing crowd swaying to the beat. I may have walked in knowing nothing about this uber talented woman but I left with a huge spot in my heart for her. Beyond her music, she had a personality that shined. Although not super talkative as sets were short, she mentioned a couple of times that she would be at the merch table and would love to meet everyone. Although I never made it over to said table, I did notice a handful of people standing around and talking with her and her wonderful bandmates. You could just see that the conversations were genuine and that the smiles donning everyone’s faces were real. I love when artists can perform in such a beautiful and stunning way but still come off stage just chill at the merch table while talking to fans about God knows what. Jessica Manning is truly a beautiful soul and I can’t wait to catch her again.

What happened next caught me a bit off guard. Again, I really didn’t know what to expect from last night’s show due to not knowing much about the headliner let alone the openers but what ABIR gave me had me absolutely stunned. ABIR appeared on the stage and instantly had my jaw on the ground the second she opened her mouth. Her powerful and absolutely stunning voice was all I needed to hear to know that she is a true gem in the scene. Although her pop sound is definitely not my typical go to, the way she sang and performed with such a sense of conviction was absolutely my go to. I loved the way you could literally see her feel the music. Her impressive vocal range kept each song feeling different but the infectious beats kept them feeling cohesive. ABIR played through EP and when it was all said and done I was left wanting so much more. In her early twenties, ABIR has a very, very bright future. I know I say this about many acts but I honestly see huge things coming for her and I can’t wait to be able to say “I remember seeing her before she blew up and I knew then that she would become a household name!”

My mood had already shifted from being crabby to being completely in awe at the talent that had graced the stage at First Avenue. I honestly didn’t think I could take anymore. Enter- Jacob Banks. The larger than life character said nothing, grabbed the microphone and instantly pushed me over the edge. Born in Nigeria and then raised in England, Jacob Banks is the type that instantly captivates you without even trying. Maybe it’s his literal larger than life appearance (this guy is freaking tall and towered over his bandmates) or it’s the way his voice makes you feel absolutely everything and anything whenever he sings, regardless, I stood there stunned as he played through what would become a set that seemed to fly by just because I was so shocked.

Jacob Banks’ voice was definitely the highlight of last night’s show. It’s one of those voices that, the second you hear it, you know it’s his. It’s soft and tender at times but at other times there’s almost a sense of aggression and his voice goes from soulful to scratchy and almost dark. The way he manipulates his voice with ease seems to match his music. All of his songs are clearly full of heart and passion and you can hear that in his voice. Every word has it’s place and every words brings a feeling with it in his voice. My jaw was on the ground as I watched his hands moved mimicking almost a guitar or bouncing up and down as if he was following along with sheet music in the air. Again, I just stood there, stunned, with nothing to say other than leaning over to my friend and mentioning something to the extent of “Holy shit!” or “What is even happening right now.” I don’t get lost for words often but Jacob Banks had me feeling everything and nothing at the same time leaving my opinionated self completely quiet.

I could have stood there and watched him perform all night. If there was ever a voice I wanted to hear all day, every day, it would be his. I wish I could tell you more about his set, the songs he played, and the nitty gritty details but the truth is I was in shock and didn’t even think to whip my phone out and take notes like I typically do. If Jacob Banks ever comes to your neck of the woods, I sincerely urge you to check out the show. It’s worth any ticket price and more than worth your time and energy to go to. Again, all I can say about Wednesday night’s show is I was stunned. Absolutely stunned.

Thanks to Jacob Banks, ABIR, and Jessica Manning, I was able to snap out of my terrible mood and I can not thank them all enough for that.


Jessica Manning


Jacob Banks

Venue: First Avenue

Sausage Fest Meter- 6 out of 10

Average Age of the Crowd- 34

Crowd Surfers- None

Sway-Ability- 8.7 out of 10

Stage Divers- None

Broken Bones- 0

Spotted Flying Through The Air- A Parachute!

Fights- 0

Pukers- 0

Drunkards Taken Out By Security- 0

Celebrity Sightings- None

Overall Score- 9.8 out of 10

Show on Deck- Daughters/ Wolf Eyes/ Hide

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