A sizable crowd was gathered in the hallway outside of Barefoots Joe Friday night. The posters advertising the concert claimed the concert would start at 8 p.m., but it was obvious that this wasn’t the case. A sign was posted on the door that read, “Doors for concert open at 8:30—starting soon after.” Some students started up a game in the hallway to pass the time.
The doors opened at 8:42 p.m.
The crowd filed in and discovered seats among the rows of couches and chairs. The first act, Edward and Jane, began playing at 8:46 p.m.
Edward and Jane’s sound is described as one that draws influence from folk favorites such as The Civil Wars and The Head and the Heart. According to the Facebook event page, the band “delivers a fun live performance as each member cheerfully plays off the other and their audience to forge a connection that only their brand of feel-good folk can.”
As Edward and Jane took the stage, it was easy to see the chemistry between the two. As they sang, they continually looked at each other, keeping in time and sharing each moment together. They bounced to the beat, smiling at each other in a way that left viewers without a doubt that the duo loved performing.
After the first song, they introduced themselves as a married couple from Chattanooga, Tennessee. They had just come off a week long tour with a full band, and Edward claimed to feel a little strange without the rest of the band around them.
They stood together in the center of the stage, surrounded by the instruments that would be played by the next band. Between songs, they continued to riff off the audience, building hype for Book of Colors. For one song, they taught the audience to sing along. After a string of easy-listening songs, they moved on to more exciting ones, Edward claiming, “Y’all gotta clap on this one or something!”
They were very open about their lack of preparation, announcing that they did not have a set list and were making it up as they went along. At one point, much to the audience’s amusement, they broke into the chorus of Justin Bieber’s “Baby” mid-song. Later, they took a selfie with a crowd.
After a short intermission, the next band, Book of Colors, arrived on the scene. You could feel the surprise and amusement ripple through the crowd as they observed the interesting fashion choices of the lead singer.
Once they seemed to have everything ready, they played their opening song. As the applause died down, they gave even more technical directions to the sound crew, then announced to the crowd that they drove eight hours to get to Jackson.
According to the event’s Facebook page, the band “creates a dreamy folk sound through the careful layering of soft percussive rhythms, complementary guitars, and wafting harmonies that drift about the room and invite listeners to enter into the stories themselves.”
The phrase, “soft percussive rhythms” does not do justice to the percussive aspect of the band’s songs. Among the plethora of musical instruments on the stage, there was a vibraphone, bells, a triangle, tambourine, bongos, maracas, castanets and a strange handheld keyboard with a mouthpiece on it. At one point, a band member began playing a rhythm on his metal tie, resulting in giggles throughout the crowd.
Frontman André Paraguassu continued to tune his guitars between almost every song. He had another band member, Hilary Kelley, introduce the individual band members as he tuned.
“There’s a guy in Atlanta who tunes my guitars and hands them to me,” Paraguassu said. “It’s great, you guys would love it!”
Kelley added: “He gets paid in tacos.”
The band finished their set while receiving great applause, and then they thanked the audience for a great time. The concert ended rather unceremoniously, with the band packing up their gear on the stage and the audience trickling out of the room. Many students stopped by the tables in the back to check out merchandise from both bands.
“It was a good way to wind down the week and start the weekend,” said freshman zoology major, Lacon Hudgins. “I’m glad I came tonight.”