Hawaii-based singer-songwriter, Jack Johnson performed to a sold out audience at the downtown Los Angeles venue, The Orpheum Theatre, on Saturday, October 19th. It was part of his From Here to Now to You tour.
I was delighted to finally see this mellow singer perform and hear some of his charting singles. Indeed, the show was a nice mix of his hit songs and several new tracks off his latest album, From Here to Now to You. In fact, this album recently became his fourth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 when it was released last month.
Immediately, Johnson’s gentle and genuine nature shone through on stage. Dressed very casually in flip-flops, jeans and a T-shirt, he kicked off the show with quieter, solo performances of “Do You Remember” and “Good People” but by the end of the night was rocking out with his band to “Mudfootball” and “Staple It Together.” Among his more well-known songs, the singer drew cheers when he played his debut single, 2002’s “Flake”; “Bubble Toes” (a mash-up with Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker”); and “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing” (another mash-up, with The Cars’ “Just What I Needed”).
He also played a solo version of “I Got You,” the lead single off his new album, along with “Radiate,” “Washing Dishes” and “Shot Reverse Shot.” In a nod to his Hawaiian heritage, Johnson showed off his ukulele skills on “Breakdown,” but I must also point out his band member, Zach Gill, who played no fewer than five instruments throughout the night, including a piano, keyboard, xylophone, accordion and harmonica.
During the encore, Johnson surprised fans with an appearance by the super talented Hawaiian reggae/soul singer Paula Fuga, a former tourmate with whom he’s collaborated many times, to perform on several songs, including “Turn Your Love” and “Better Together.” The two also showed off their amazing whistling skills on “Country Road.”
He closed out the show with “Home,” from the new album, which he told the crowd was written after he excitedly returned home after one tour only to find his garden overrun with weeds and his attic full of birds — and then he couldn’t wait to go back on tour. “It doesn’t matter where your home is; home is where your family is,” he told the crowd. “This is home, and thank you for making us feel home.”
On my drive home from the show, I couldn’t help but feel more laid-back and relaxed. Jack Johnson’s music certainly has that power.