"Crocodile Tears" is a great ship-shanty like song with a wonderfully playful horn section. That is, until the trumpeter and two saxophonists tear into some noisy solos, abandoning the playful tone before going into another guitar solo. It was a performance that took the spotlight away from Jesso Jr. a bit in a way that was refreshing. You can't always play piano ballads and expect the audience to be riveted all the time.
"Hollywood" showed off more of that loner piano man style fans are used to. The irony of playing a song all about being a good kid discovering the evils of Hollywood wasn't lost on the Kimmel crowd watching on Hollywood Blvd. "I think I'm gonna die in Hollywood" Jesso Jr. repeats on the song's final refrain culminating in a chaotic symphony of noise.
This is the third late night slot the tall, mop-headed singer has filled starting with a spot on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon back in February in which he collaborated with The Roots on his song "How Could You Babe." He followed that showing up with a beautiful performance of "Without You" on Conan backed by a full string section. You can also see Conan's surprise when he realizes the singer is taller than he is.
All of this late night exposure has been good for Jesso Jr. who is quickly climbing in popularity following the release of his debut album Goon via True Panther Sounds. Don't be surprised if you see and hear a lot more from this artist as those annual end-of-the-year lists start coming in.
See Jesso Jr. and his intense piano face below or catch him on the road by visiting his website for a full schedule of dates.