Welcome to my new series, where I delve into the captivating world of up-and-coming artists destined for the grand stage. Recently, I had the absolute pleasure of attending an unforgettable show at the hidden gem of a venue, Makeout Music, with a lineup curated by Matt Ladis of Mad Lettuce Management. This was my second visit to the intimate space, and this time, I was treated to an extraordinary lineup featuring rising talents such as Louis Phoenix, mynameisntjmack, Jackpal, and Walden.
Kicking off the night was Louis Phoenix, whose ethereal voice harmoniously blended with raw passion and a profound connection with the audience. The chemistry he shared with the bassist was fantastic. While I had anticipated an electrifying rendition of my favorite track, "DELIVERY BOY," he surprised everyone with a perfect performance of "EL CAMINO," a hauntingly evocative song that felt like a deep, untamed western melody.
The atmosphere shifted as mynameisntjmack took the stage, instantly transforming the cozy venue into an electrifying spectacle that made the modest crowd feel like a roaring sea of people. His unbridled rapping skills fused effortlessly with boundless energy, igniting surprisingly, electric mosh pits. Having previously reviewed his April EP, "BOOKMARK," I was thrilled to witness it live. A standout moment was when he engaged the crowd to sing Tommy Richman's part in "numbersnshit."
Jackpal was up next, making his debut performance, and he was nothing short of a natural-born performer. Supported by a drummer who exuded the energy of a headlining act at Coachella or Lollapalooza, Jackpal's live vocals were nearly identical to his recorded music, a testament to his exceptional talent as a vocalist. He truly embodied the essence of a rockstar, and experiencing the live rendition of "I WANNA MAKE YOU MINE" for the first time was an exhilarating moment.
Finally, the stage was graced by Walden, delivering an interactive and vivacious performance that left an indelible mark on everyone. The band's seamless chemistry showcased their expertise as gifted musicians and a cohesive group. A defining moment of the night was when they stepped into the crowd armed with banjos and an acoustic guitar, captivating everyone with an unplugged set without microphones, which is something I will remember for a long time.