Jack Johnson Brings Mellow Hawaiian Warmth To Camden
REVIEW: Star performed old favourites & new tracks at iTunes Festival...
On the day his new album Jack Johnson and his band took the stage at the iTunes Festival to lull fans with a repertoire of his best-known tunes, and a sample of new, already-loveable tracks.
After the dramatic iTunes countdown, Jack arrived on stage solo and quipped “After all that build up it’s just a guy and an acoustic guitar.” Eleven years after his first album’s runaway success, it 's clear he's as unbothered about the fame machine as ever.
Feeling: Support act Bahamas set the tone with their similarly soothing sound before Jack appeared. With zero pretence, he quickly brought the crowd into his laid-back easy world, playing a 1.5 hour set that fans lapped up.
The intimacy of the Roundhouse played the perfect backdrop to the cosiness of Jack's recognisable sound, and it felt as though we were joining him in the familiar surroundings of his home, just having a jam with his mates.
Look: The stage was dressed with a coat stand, a giant pendant lampshade hung over Jack’s head and the band sipped out of mugs creating a home-from-home feel.
Large dimmed spotlights lit the stage adding a retro vibe, while a backdrop of giant doodles featuring plants and planets and beach scenes settled the dreamy atmosphere.
In a casual t-shirt and blue jeans, tanned and serene, Jack hardly looks like he’s aged a day.
Tunes: Opening his set with two best-known love songs, Jack described writing Do You Remember about meeting his wife, before dedicating I Got You to the hail storm in London that afternoon.
Playing a mix of the tunes that made him famous – including the timeless Flake, as well as Bubble Toes, Taylor and Banana Pancakes, Johnson’s voice was as comforting as ever.
Jack picked up an electric guitar for Radiate, livening things up, while a guest rap interlude in Staple It Together felt slightly bizarre, but got the audience buzzing and demonstrated the singer's desire to break out of the mould he is so well-recognised for.
Banter: Jack chatted about his songs and introduced quips into some of his classics to paint a picture of his family life. He was clearly much more comfortable on stage and better at engaging with the crowd than when this reviewer first saw him somewhat awkwardly perform at the NEC in Birmingham seven years ago.
He teased and surprised the audience with intro chords from some of his most popular songs before delving into others, and when the crowd went crazy for an encore, stamping their feet, Jack returned to the stage and simply said: “you knew I was just kidding.”
Sweat Factor: Warm and toasty – like pulling on your favourite wooly jumper.
Do You Remember - (Jack solo)
I Got You - (Jack solo)
Good People - (Jack solo)
Sitting, Waiting, Wishing
Shock Reverse Shock
Don't Believe a Thing
I Say - (with Bahamas)
Staple It Together
At or With Me
Gone - (Jack solo)
Ones and Zeros - (Jack solo)
Angel/Better Together - (Jack solo)
By Leigh Gower @mtvuknews
Pictures: © iTunes Festival