Photos by Neil Van
It was early on the second day of the 2017 Osheaga Festival when a presence came out onto the stage, seemingly from nowhere, and managed to pique the interest, and hips, of everyone in that field. That lively presence armed with some of the day’s catchiest tunes was Jain from Toulouse, France. She delivered one of my favourite sets of 2017.
Jain released her sophomore album Souldier six weeks ago and made her second Toronto appearance last night at a sold out Danforth Music Hall. The stage was all hers and she made very good use of it over the course of 75 minutes.
Opening with “On My Way” off the new album, she offered up plenty of tracks from each of her two albums. At one point in the evening, she illustrated how she was making the music. Not only was her bank of equipment at play centre stage, but she had a lit-up armband that allowed her to control sounds.
Along with singing, really hyping up the crowd, all this multitasking of making the music, one would thing she would exhaust herself. But she didn’t and instead channeled boundless energy to light a fire under the masses that gathered and they were more than happy to oblige.
She came with a screen that was used minimally accompanied by a very liberal dose of lighting. The Music Hall’s sound held up nicely helping the night deliver a club-like vibe. Highlights were many including “Mr. Johnson”, “Come”, “Dynabeat” before ending the set in front of an Eiffel Tower backdrop for “Paris”.
The delighted crowd demanded more and they got more. Returning with an acoustic guitar, she played a warm “Souldier” before getting the fun party started again with “Oh Man” and her song made famous by Levi’, “Makeba”. The crowd went wild, as did Jain and in the end it was really sad that the fun had to end for the evening. I hope she’s back soon.