The Showbox SoDo was filled to the brim this past Monday night with soulful melodies as Jorja Smith graced our humble Seattle with her existence for her very first stop of the 2018 “lost & found” tour. The ethereal singer-songwriter brought along Ravyn Lenae to open for her, and she accompanied her splendidly. The two warmed up the venue enough to dry off all the rain-soaked music lovers that filled the sold out venue.
Ravyn Lenae, a neo-soul artist from Chicago, stole the hearts of every person within earshot. Her bubbly personality and charming anecdotes instantly clicked with the crowd. We promised her two things: 1. that we would move our bodies and 2. that we would not break our promise. With a smile as genuine as Ravyn’s we couldn’t help but obey our queen. During her set, Ravyn shared her own experiences with love, heartbreak, and long-distance relationships; she desired the crowd to feel the meaning behind her words as deeply as she did.
Jorja Smith. What a woman. What a stage presence. As soon as she was revealed, dripping in a serene white gown topped off with glistening lip gloss, the room took on this surreal quality. Was she real? Are we real? Was any of this real? She was a literal angel, who came down to earth to bless our ears and hearts with flawlessly executed R&B bops. Jorja sang sensual ballad after sensual ballad, making everyone in the room feel some typa way. The air collectively escaped everyone’s bodies at once. Jorja left us breathless. It was as if she was our bride, walking down the aisle on our wedding day.
After dazzling us for about an hour of lyrical bliss, Jorja stepped back for an instrumental interlude where her band took charge of the stage. This space was perfect for allowing the audience to appreciate the sheer talent and artistry of the musicians. It broke up her set without feeling disjointed -- in fact, it felt even more organic to include this moment.
Perhaps one of the most notable moments of Jorja’s performance was when she sang “Blue Lights,” her song sampling Dizzee Rascal’s “Sirens.” Though she had unique lighting throughout her entire set, the lights during this song stood out in particular, as they accurately replicated those of a police car. The lighting, paired with her lyrics, “I wanna turn those blue lights / into strobe lights / not blue flashing lights / maybe fairy lights,” made for a somber, yet striking atmosphere.
The latter half of Jorja’s set was just as glorious as the first. Featuring songs from her 2018 album, Lost & Found, and her song “I Am” from the Black Panther soundtrack, Jorja consistently blew us away. Like most artists, she left the stage without wrapping up her set, leaving us all wanting more. The encore was like another breath of fresh air, this time getting us even more in our feelings.
As the concert concluded, we left feeling proud. Seeing two beautiful, black women -- who are our age -- performing at a sold-out venue was inspiring. At the end of Ravyn’s set, she thanked us for supporting female artists of color. This is so important, as the world fights to silence their voices and hinder their success. Instead, Ravyn and Jorja worked together to raise their voices even louder; they made magic happen, and everyone in the crowd was under their spell.
[[A note from the Blog King]]
I was also at this show, and can confirm beyond the shadow of a doubt that the illustrious Jorja did make me feel some typa way.
By: Sarah Dirckx and Analyn Grasz
*****Photo Credit to Kailee Liu