featured image by Dylan Novacek of Music in Minnesota
Mmmk, so I didn’t attend the Jake Wesley Rogers show as press. I went with a friend who had an extra ticket. But it was an absolutely moving show that I just HAD to do a write up for it.
**Trigger Warning for those struggling with mental health or suicide, there is discussion of it below**
This was back on March 19 & sometimes writing just takes me a minute to sit down and just do it. I’m a procrastinator okay? Let me liiiive.
First, let me preface by saying his music is not something I typically would listen to and it just wasn’t my vibe. And that is no shade to him at all, we all have our musical preferences. But I say this because the amount of praise I have for a show when I DIDN’T enjoy the music says a whole lot.
Let’s back it up a second though. The opener, Stacey Ryan, could sing like it’s no one’s business. And to my surprise, her opening song “Fall in Love Alone,” I knew because I had added it to my current rotating playlist a few months prior to this show. I was in disbelief I knew it and even asked my friend if it was a cover. I do this to myself often where I’ll go through Spotify playlists (pop rising, mood booster, etc) and find songs I like and add to my playlist. Then I don’t realize the artist or song I’ve been belting is playing and I go and am like WOOOOO. This happened back in 2018 when Lewis Capaldi opened for Milky Chance. Nice to set myself up for surprises, right? Anyways, Stacey’s voice was to die for; her runs; her range. Just *chefs kiss*
Jake Wesley Rogers
Now we are on to the main event: Jake Wesley Rogers errrrrbody. He came out onto the stage in the biggest, frilliest, poofy yellow outfit (see below video for a visual). The extraness of it was EVERYTHING. If you know me, you know I’m extra to the extra and love to be sparkly and pink and all the things.
I think the reason I was so touched by his show was his story. He discussed his struggles growing up with the church/religion & people in his life not understanding his sexuality. He played an entire song dedicated to this exact topic: a new unreleased song called “Hot Gospel.” The nuances that the LGBTQ+ community faces when it comes to religion/church breaks my heart. It happened to me just in the past couple years; when you can find someone whose experience can help you, that is the beauty of music.
“The nuances that the LGBTQ+ community faces when it comes to religion/church breaks my heart.”
Another sad but also touching moment from the show was when he sang “Jacob From the Bible.” He grew up with someone who also was named Jacob. From what I gathered, it seems that Jacob lost his life or ended up taking it due to the struggles with religion & sexuality (I could be totally wrong but that is what I assumed out of the stories that were told at the show). The song was written to honor Jacob’s memory and I got teary eyed about it. He told the story of how he told Jacob’s parents & I believe he said he got their permission for the song; basically, they were honored and joyful that he wanted to honor Jacob’s memory like that.
Lastly, we HAVE to talk about how he ended his set. With a spoken word from his ACTUAL diary from when he was younger. He said when preparing for tour he wasn’t going to; he didn’t want to be THAT vulnerable reading to us his personal thoughts, feelings, struggles. But the way it just left you in awe once the show was over. I have NEVER seen an encore like this and I absolutely loved it. I’ve been saying for years how the encore these days is expected & isn’t what it used to be.
I am telling you, the impression this mans had on me for a show I didn’t know the music is absolutely a testament to him as a human and artist. The spiritual experience that I had was unmatched & I would go see him again in a heartbeat just to be in my feels and connect on that level.
Tips to get over your Post Concert Depression here.