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Jhené Aiko at Avalon as part of Red Bull Sound Select Presents: 30 Days in LA, in Los Angeles, CA, USA 11/22/16 (Photo by Carlo Cruz for Red Bull Sound Select). Used With Permission.
Jhené Aiko at Avalon as part of Red Bull Sound Select Presents: 30 Days in LA, in Los Angeles, CA, USA 11/22/16 (Photo by Carlo Cruz for Red Bull Sound Select). Used With Permission.

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I’ve been a fan of Jhene Aiko since her music project with Cocaine 80s. I’ve listened to all of her silky smooth vocal tracks from all of her EPs and album, and I was more than thrilled to finally see her perform live. I headed into Avalon just off of Sunset and grabbed a view at the front of the stage.

Cherrie at Avalon as part of Red Bull Sound Select Presents: 30 Days in LA, in Los Angeles, CA, USA 11/22/16 (Photo by Paul Carter for Red Bull Sound Select). Used With Permission.
Cherrie at Avalon as part of Red Bull Sound Select Presents: 30 Days in LA, in Los Angeles, CA, USA 11/22/16 (Photo by Paul Carter for Red Bull Sound Select). Used With Permission.

Her first opener, Cherrie, is a recording artist from Stockholm, Sweden- an instant win for me since I’ve got Swedish blood in my veins. Singing in her native tongue, she sang love and break-up songs. Since I am pretty fluent in Swedish, I could easily fall into the lyrics that she sang, but I was more than surprised to see the rest of the crowd that was there early to catch her swaying and grooving to her melodies. The power of music.

Cherrie’s performance left a positive impression on me, but what really made me fall in love with her was how she remained incredibly humble and tremendously grateful to able to perform in Los Angeles as an undercard for Ms. Aiko. Cherrie ended with a heartfelt note, saying that Sweden stands with United States in solidarity against the tragedies following our current election, and against gun violence. Amen to that.

Follow Cherrie on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Eryn Allen Kane at Avalon as part of Red Bull Sound Select Presents: 30 Days in LA, in Los Angeles, CA, USA 11/22/16 (Photo by Carlo Cruz for Red Bull Sound Select). Used With Permission.
Eryn Allen Kane at Avalon as part of Red Bull Sound Select Presents: 30 Days in LA, in Los Angeles, CA, USA 11/22/16 (Photo by Carlo Cruz for Red Bull Sound Select). Used With Permission.

Next to perform was Eryn Allen Kane. Eryn was a full-blown treat. The only way I can describe her personality and music is that she was a down-to-earth combination of fire crackers and sunshine. With power-house, gospel infused vocals, she effortlessly sang, scat, and danced her way into my heart with her equally talented 4-member band backing her stellar performance.

Her performance left me speechless. It was pure, feminine power that I had not seen live in a long long while. It was both refreshing and inspiring, and by the time she concluded her set with “You Make Me Wanna Shout,” the venue had flipped it’s switch and turned up into “party mode”. Eryn Allen Kane may be my new favorite human being, and with having discovered that she recently released a new EP, you best believe that I will be checking that out ASAP.

Follow Eryn Allen Kane on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Jhené Aiko at Avalon as part of Red Bull Sound Select Presents: 30 Days in LA, in Los Angeles, CA, USA 11/22/16 (Photo by Paul Carter for Red Bull Sound Select). Used With Permission.
Jhené Aiko at Avalon as part of Red Bull Sound Select Presents: 30 Days in LA, in Los Angeles, CA, USA 11/22/16 (Photo by Paul Carter for Red Bull Sound Select). Used With Permission.

By the time Jhené Aiko finally took the stage, the mood had been set. The venue’s atmosphere as Zen and silky as her vocals, with the stage drench in heavy blue lights and decorated like your best friend’s living room.  Adorned with couches, paintings, candles, crystals, and all of her friends, it was like we were invited into a private jam session with her as she was developing new songs straight from her living room. In fact, she did jam for us and explicitly said, “no tracks”. Backed by a band that included a cellist and a harp player, the mood was set even further.

Jhené Aiko at Avalon as part of Red Bull Sound Select Presents: 30 Days in LA, in Los Angeles, CA, USA 11/22/16. Setlist.Conveniently, Jhené began to play “Living Room Flow”. She then surprised her adoring fans with a special appearance by her boo, Big Sean. They performed “On The Way”, and everyone in the audience sang along. Things got intimate between them, but kept things chill like the mood.

Jhené performed about two more tracks, and then picked up the pace by giving us another surprise by bringing out Vince Staples. Together, they sang, “Lemme Know”. I loved this track predominantly for the fact that Jhené shows off her rapping chops, proving to her fans that she’s not a just a singer.

Just when we thought things couldn’t get any better, she throws down with Chris Brown. I have strong feelings about Chris Brown as an individual in his personal life, but in the moment, having him surprise us and join Jhené on stage to perform “Post To Be”, I couldn’t help but put my personal feelings aside to get lit just like everybody else. This was definitely the most hype part of the whole concert. Everything else was, as Jhené described it, “that happy, chill moment when you have a beer and a blunt”. She sang her new single, “Maniac”, and then wrapped it up with one of my personal favorites, “The Worst”. Although the mood, and the audience were as calm as Jhené, we craved an encore. She came back to give us, “Comfort Inn”.

Jhené quite literally invited us into her space to share her talents with us, and we were all tremendously appreciative. Her performance quenched our thirst until her next album which will hopefully drop soon, but for me, not soon enough.

Follow Jhené Aiko on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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