What’s Left: 71 Days. 38 Bands.
Band #62: Sarah Jaffe
When/Where: June 25th, Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC
Expectations: I really know very little about Sarah Jaffe. I listened to a bit of her music, though, and am digging her acoustic sound.
Concert: I arrived to the show a little bit late, so I only caught what I assume was the second half of Sarah Jaffe’s set. I walked in to a pretty full room full of silent onlookers. At first thought, I figured it these people were just watching, not too into the set. Upon settling in at my front row spot, though, I realized that these “silent onlookers” were actually taking in Sarah’s music and the low level of noise was rather respectful. Sarah commented on it herself, noting in her hoarse-sounding voice that she was very appreciative of the quiet crowd; she loves what she does and it’s nice once in a while to have a crowd who quietly listens.
The concert was a peaceful one; the drums were played rather softly, which accentuated the strength of Sarah’s voice. The serenity of the music let me focus my attention on Sarah’s lyrics, which were breathtaking. When she played her song called “Even Born Again,” a tune with lyrics so moving I felt myself placed into in the story, Sarah powerfully sang the entire song with her eyes shut, until she opened her eyes to the crowd for the line “I would gladly die for you.” It was as though she knew that every single one of us was imagining ourselves in this song – opening her eyes at that point made it incredibly personal and even more believable. It’s clear that Sarah Jaffe puts her heart into every single word she writes.
Sarah Jaffe puts on a very intimate show. Quick to thank the audience for this opportunity, she also let out a heartfelt thank you to both Centro-Matic and David Bazan for inviting her to be the first opener. For her last song, she invited the audience to sing along with her, which always ignites a moving experience – the crowd was accepting of the offer, but handled it gently. Our singing wasn’t loud enough to overpower hers, and it still allowed me to hear the soft picking of the electric guitar. It was, put quite simply, a beautiful experience.
Concert Afterglow: I was moved by the power of Sarah Jaffe’s words and physical performance. What a pleasant surprise of an opening act.
Recommendation: I don’t quite see Sarah Jaffe hitting the big stages quite yet, but if you’re looking for a quiet and moving show, she is certainly an act to catch.
Song: “Even Born Again” – Sarah Jaffe