By Molly Maher
A few months back in June I impulsively bought myself a ticket to a Julia Jacklin concert at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. I prayed that with the combination of her angelic voice and my persuasion skills, I could convince at least one person I knew to go with me. Despite accepting it may be my first solo concert, two of my friends bought themselves tickets. Unfortunately, because the show was on a Tuesday night and I’m a carless college student, I realized the journey would prevent me from seeing the opener, Katy Kirby. Nonetheless, we arrived just in time to see Julia Jacklin and her band gracefully come up on stage.
This was my first visit to the Fillmore so I was happily surprised by the impressive architecture inside. Both sides of the auditorium had balconies with tables and chairs giving an option to those hoping to avoid a crowd. Eight grandiose chandeliers ornamented the high ceilings with a single disco ball swaying in the center. Folded red velvet curtains wrapped around the walls creating a theater-like ambiance.
With a hesitant smile, Julia opened the show with one of her older songs “Don’t Let the Kids Win”. She had a nervous stage present but seemed to be reassured by the familiarity of her bandmates. Many of her songs are slower, somewhat folksy at times, but she picks up the pace with some of her more upbeat rock songs like “I was Neon” and “Love, Try Not to Let Go”. With every mood switch in her songs, she is clearly moved by the emotion of her music; spinning around the stage with her guitar in hand and her eyes close tightly. Even in the audience, you can sense the vulnerability from her more intimate tracks like “Good Guy” about accepting false love. She played a mix of songs from her 2018 album “Crushing” as well as tracks from her newest album “Pre-Pleasure” which was released in August of this year. In the middle of her set, she performed her first single “Pool Party”, a classic song for her die-hard fans. Maybe because of the familiarity, I was drawn to the tracks from “Crushing”, specifically her popular “Pressure to Party”. The combination of tambourine, guitar, and drums melt into the perfect melody for jumping and screaming in the crowd; a rarity in Julia Jacklin tracks.
As we poured out of the building in a herd of people, I was surprised with a poster from the night’s show free of charge; apparently a long-lasting Fillmore tradition. My friends and restlessly gripped onto our new room decor on our bus ride home excitedly recalling our favorite moments from the show. Even though I saw her perform the previous month at a music festival in Southern California, her performance at the Fillmore was a completely different experience. Even though some of her sorrowful songs can be intimidating for first time listeners, it’s undeniable that every Julia Jacklin show is a deeply emotional experience. While it’s not your typical concert, if you’re looking to reminisce on lost relationships and celebrate self-love, Julia Jacklin’s performances will take you on an unforgettable roller coaster of emotion.