Photos by Olivia Leung
Jesse Epstein, known otherwise as Imaginary Future, opened the show for his wife Kina Grannis, of whom he also plays guitar for. He’s basically guaranteed the opportunity to play for both sets (hers and his own) and how does he walk out on stage? Taken aback by the applause. Epstein was still so happy to be able to perform for a living and it was clear that he wasn’t unappreciative of this moment. With the odd self demeaning joke (for instance, how his music can either be studied or slept to, which made him concerned about his music putting people to sleep), Epstein was a sole musician on stage for his entire set full of personal music, light hearted comedy and blushing that could have lit the stage by itself.
With older music of his, newer music and his famous cover of Lorde’s Team, fans were already infected by Epstein’s natural charm, and with many audience members yelling compliments at him, he would freeze on stage to take all of this in for a moment of time. He felt comfortable sharing stories with us, such as how the art director of an album of his played a single cymbal on one of his songs. The sound balance was perfect for his set as his guitar tones and his vocal melodies were very pleasant to hear at the Mod Club. It was a short, content and joyful set that opened the show very well. It’s one thing to see someone finally make it somewhere as an opener, and it’s another to see someone so internally thrilled to be making music for a living no matter where they are at.