Take yourself back to the year 2004, when pop-prince Jesse McCartney shook the hearts of girls all over the world. Now a certified gold record, “Beautiful Soul” topped charts across nations. It was this same song that Jesse played for an eclectic crowd as we ended the night in the nostalgia for the era of Disney stars who ruled the pop charts.
But before we delve into the main course, there is a lot to be said for the performance of the openers. The band Just Seconds Apart played an entertaining set that generated an excitement in the air as the audience waited for their childhood dreams to come true. While the crowd’s fervor for Just Seconds Apart didn’t reach the same intensity as it did for the headliner, they appeared to have a blast while warming the stage for PUBLIC.
With their collared shirts and rolled denim, PUBLIC presented themselves with the mannerisms of a typical alternative beach-rock band. They interacted with the crowd from the get-go, acknowledging that many audience members might not be aware of who they were. The lead singer, John Vaughn, chatted with the audience in between nearly every song and was gracious for the crowd’s energy and openness to the new music. Vaughn gave a rousing performance with the song, “Pretty Face,” which was reminiscent of the Killers’ “When You Were Young.” The sound continued in an upbeat fashion while highlighting their talent on guitar. The young band generated a great amount of energy considering the fans’ diehard loyalty to McCartney.
PUBLIC’s mission was to impress the crowd, and they made that very clear. In my opinion, it was one of the best opening acts I’ve seen in a while. The band’s energy on stage — filled with lively, fun dancing — made the show something the entire crowd could appreciate. The drummer was as lively as the bassist, throwing his hands in the air and head banging to the beat. Clearly prepped for the main course, PUBLIC parted with the audience and patiently waited for the former teen heartthrob.
Before McCartney took the stage, a guitarist and drummer began entertaining the audience’s ears ears with frenetic chords and their chests with ferocious bass. McCartney ran in front of the crowd, and he quickly moved to the front of the stage to shake hands with his fans. The collective screams of the audience were deafening, and Jesse stood there soaking in the love from his adoring fans. The night started with a classic, “She’s No You,” from of his first album, Beautiful Soul. McCartney then continued the night mixing new and old songs, showing that his hold flames still burn hot as ever. The peak of the night came for one girl, Grace, who was hand selected by the hearthrob to come on stage as he serenaded her. She sat on a stool center stage and locked eyes with the singer as he dotingly sang, “The Stupid Things,” — a love song ensuring that, deep down, trivial nonsense is no reflection of Jesse’s love. Jesse ended the night by playing a new song which has not yet been released. It was an uptempo song that is sure to be a jam upon its release. It combined his poppy flair with new EDM vibes, making for a surefire combination of past and present influences. When the lights faded, a sudden panic swept the crowd. Soon after, Jesse reemerged for an encore, where he played Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love,” only to reveal that he actually wrote the song. His rendition was equally as amazing. Of course, Jesse finished the night with a bang, and ended with “Beautiful Soul.”