Jakob Ogawa and Nina’s show had the crowd enamored at the Larimer Lounge in Denver, Colorado on October 9, 2019. Separated from the crowd by only a small row of speakers, Larimer Lounge’s modest venue was the best place for the artists to connect with the crowd of supporters. The dream-pop musicians nailed their performances and filled the small venue with honeyed vocals that enticed the room of adoring fans.
Bathed in a blue glow, opener Los Angeles native Niña captivated the crowd with her loving aura. Her dreamy, smooth voice is similar to that of Clairo’s but was original in her softness. The intimate location with fairy lights overhead provided the perfect setting to display her music and introduce her new EP “love letters to you” with songs “milk and honey” and “heaven.” Accompanied with tender guitar and bells, her vocals conveyed nostalgia, heartbreak, and lightheartedness. She exited the stage by blowing a kiss to the charmed crowd.
Jakob began his performance with contagious excitement and a wave to the crowd. His relaxed look and bucket hat gave the show a laid back ambiance. He immediately got the audience swaying to the music with his relaxed dancing to the upbeat song “Sunshine Girl.” After his first song, he connected with the audience by inviting a listener on stage to sing “You Might Be Sleeping” with him and quickly involved the audience by directing the mic out to the crowd.
Throwing in a cover of Kelly Finnigan’s “Catch Me I'm Falling,” added variety to the show that still fit into Jakob’s overall theme. A mix of raw and soft songs as well as songs with energizing and funky beats kept the crowd entertained and intently listening while displaying the range Jakob can perform. Some songs like “You and I,” had the crowd shaking their hips and singing along loudly and others such as “April,” had them listening intently in a quiet hush. Going back to his roots, he also performed a song in Norwegien, his native language, that included his ethereal take on music which made the song a hit for the American crowd.
The closeness of the band was apparent especially when Jakob announced that his bassist, Axel, was turning 21. Not reminiscent of any sort of key or tune, the fans sang out a cheerful “Happy Birthday,” that brought everyone together. The band continued to have fun on stage and segwayed perfectly into the last song, a new one, “funny feeling” that highlighted an old school keys melody and Jakob’s characteristic silky voice.
What made his Teen Angel tour a memorable one for me, was Jakob’s outgoing and personable energy. He continuously engaged with the audience through conversation between songs, and it was clear that he was having fun as he laughed, danced, and jammed out on guitar throughout his easygoing performance. He ended the night with a heartwarming, “You guys are beautiful. I’m so thankful to be here.” That pulled the crowd out of paradise and into the realization that the blissful evening was over.
Review by Anjala Katuri
Photos by Madi Heath