Jordan Klassen w/ Chersea @ Biltmore -- 05/31/14

Wrapping up a month-long Canadian tour, Jordan Klassen returned home for a show at the Biltmore. Which was especially enticing, as it also included one of my favourite new discoveries of this year.

Behind a mountain of equipment, Chersea took the stage starting off with a dark and moody song, which she dedicated to a friend who recently passed away. From there the set was decidedly more upbeat as she single-handedly looped combinations of keys, synth, drum machine, trumpet, and even harmonized with herself. The only song of the set she didn't loop was a brand new, never-before-played song that she was debuting.
Other highlights from the all-too-short half-hour set included "Mr. Cullum" a jazzy tune both named after and inspired by British jazz-pop legend Jamie Cullum, and the ridiculously catchy "I Could Lose It All" off her recently released EP Grey Matter.

Thanks to the curfew, it wasn't long before Jordan Klassen and friends took the stage. Often the last show of a tour can be hit-or-miss; either the fatigue of the tour weighs on the band, or they are more in sync than ever. This was definitely the latter, as the four members of the band were firing on all cylinders. Kicking the set off with "The Scribe of Doorposts", all four members of the band had a great energy, especially Klassen who can barely stand still on stage. One song near the end of the set, he and Jocelyn Price even jumped off the stage and into the crowd as Jordan tore at his acoustic guitar.
Working around a few patch-cord related technical issues, the set was full of songs that built to grand endings from his Repentance album, but they also covered "Falling", the only Haim song I know (I think), and sprinkled a few new songs throughout. One called "Miles" especially caught my ear.
After about an hour, they ended off with a bit of a crowd singalong to "Balcony" before quickly coming back for the encore, one last song before curfew, an explosive "Call and Answer".

I've seen Jordan Klassen a few times over the years, and this was was probably the best show I've seen yet from him. The intensity seemed like it was ratcheted up a notch, and whatever people mean when they talk about a band hitting "the next level", I think Jordan has done.