The crowd outside Velour
Last Saturday, Sept. 27 marked soul songstress Jennifer Blosil’s return to the music after having served 18 months on an LDS mission. The show was billed modestly as her “Homecoming,” but hip Provo joint, Velour (the starting grounds for Imagine Dragons), was packed to the brim with old friends, as well as her devoted Utah followers.
Pre-show, Blosil and openers Jude and Mia Grace were backstage, passing around a honey mouth spray that supposedly soothed the vocal chords, and alternately wincing at the taste. It was Jude’s first-ever show, and after some pep-talk and a group prayer, the demure singer-songwriter took the stage. Her songs, while of the understated variety, showcased a maturity and oftentimes painful self-awareness well beyond her 17 years.
Mia Grace splashed the stage (which was eccentrically adorned with a huge Japanese silk fan and faux-stained glass windows) dressed in goth-chicwear. Electric guitar strapped in place, the bluesy balladeer channeled Alanis Morissette circa Jagged Little Pill with slick songs about sweet talkers and could-have-been lovers.
The theme for the night was set: These young, female up-and-comers have written songs that adequately match wits with their pop contemporaries, and then some. Consider a more earnest, substantial take on the Taylor Swift phenomenon, whose predominantly young female fanbase has found a personal connection with words on singular experiences (a particularly moving moment came with Jude’s performance of a tender song she had penned following her parents’ divorce).
By the time Blosil came to the fore, the crowd had sat itself down stageside with their DSLRs and excited chatter over what new material she had up her sleeve for the occasion. The Orem native had her own plans, though. The night’s serious mood was instantly dispelled with an anecdote about a wardrobe malfunction: “So my mom had actually sewed me a dress for the show,” says Blosil, “and just as I was putting it on, the zipper broke.” She reenacted the scene, shuffling sideways and assuring passersby that all was well. With this, she excused herself for the oddity of her chosen outfit—a shirt with her own face on it—as it was the only thing she had at her disposal.
With the crowd chuckling, she broke into her set, which included tracks from her EP, “Enemy” and “Make it Better.” The contrast from her lighthearted, self-deprecating stage banter to her impassioned soulful belting was transcendent. She emoted almost as though directly to her subjects: her audiences were simply caught in the intimate moment as voyeurs.
Show highlight, “Sweet Talk” had quite the amusing backstory. The sassy track begins, “You say you’ve been to Paris, well I couldn’t care less” and the attitude doesn’t relent. “It was [a few months] before my mission started, so I thought it would be fun to go on some dates before I left. After this first one, I decided, ‘I’m never doing this again,’” Blosil laughed. To paraphrase, the song was a delicious kiss-off to a hot-shot who was so busy recounting his own glory; he only later found out Blosil was a singer—and a rather good one, at that.
The encore was poignant, and judging by the expressions in the audience, seemed to strike a strong cord. “I am not this hair, and I’m not these clothes,” Blosil sang on the ukulele. The reflection on self-worth and self-love was a simple and fitting closure for a night of introspective, coming-of-age music, and the flood of fans who sought to give the singer a hug afterwards was evidence that great things were in store for the blossoming (or, shall we say,Blosiling) musician.
Click here for more concert photos by Charissa Che.