Preview: Jax Anderson & Fashion Week at Rumba Cafe
As I lay here on my couch, vegan chocolate chip cookie and blood orange tea in my belly, I’m calm and content. This calmness and rest is needed to prep me for the whirlwind to hit Rumba Cafe this Friday that is Jax Anderson.
I’ll never forget my first experience with Jax. I was at Rumba Cafe for a Graceful Closure show, and she was opening as Flint Eastwood. Perhaps 20 or 30 people had trickled in, and it was still light outside. Yet, Jax was not content to let folks idly listen. “I see you over there!” she bellowed at a group of folks murmuring near the merch table, gesturing for them to come near the stage. Even though the command wasn’t directed at me, I felt called out—and not in a bad way. It provided a memorable intro for what would become one of my favorite songs in her catalog, which she opened the set with that night; “I’ll keep my eyes closed / keep my mind oblivious / oblivious.”
One thing you will not be oblivious to at a Jax Anderson show is a high energy pop set. Your participation is mandatory. Don’t worry though. She isn’t larger than life. She’d rather just add you to her rapidly growing circle of friends. You’ll clap, bounce, yell, and be forced to think a little. Her moniker may have changed (and her pigtails and hat gone the way of the buffalo, like her old name), but Jax’s sound and persona is very much still on point with what you might expect. Expect to hear a mix of old and new, including several cuts from her excellent new EP titled Heal (see our review here).
As an added bonus, long time friend of Tuned Up Fran Litterski (also known as pop artist Effee) has been playing keys as a live backing musician for Jax. Fran’s airy, down-to-earth sound and persona will provide interesting chemistry as a counterbalance to the fiery attitude of Jax.
Fashion Week will open the show with their thought-provoking indie rock. Their tunes are similarly catchy, though their brand of earworm is more the type to sneak up on you. If a song doesn’t grab you immediately, listen again. Even if you don’t think it grabs you, chances are it will be in your head later anyway. Frontman Jason Turner leads a friendly crew with an unassuming stage presence—you’ll want to hang out with all of them afterward. Expect tunes like “Dark of the Cinema” and “Impossible” to provide ample doses of driving tunes mixing palpable tension and down-to-earth pop rock.
If, for some reason you find this article after the Columbus show, check out these artists anyway.
Come hang out at Rumba Cafe in Columbus on February 7th. Music starts at 9pm. Tickets are here.