The Biltmore Cabaret is one of my favourite venues in the city. Not because of the acoustics, not because of the prices, not because of the facilities (though all of those are perfectly fine); No, the Biltmore is my favorite venue because everything that happens there is just… better. The dance parties are rowdier, the beats hit harder, and every show feels up close and personal. This was particularly the case with Jain. While she typically plays for much larger audiences back in France, she had no problem merging her high-energy live show with the intimacy of the Biltmore.
Opening for Jain was Two Feet, a singer-songwriter from Harlem that mixes hip-hop beats with electric guitar to back his luxurious voice. It sounds like what would happen if The xx wrote songs featuring Eric Clapton – an odd mix, but it worked. The sound really came together when he covered “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers. His voice, plus the distinct twang of the Stratocaster, was a real delight.
Unfortunately for Two Feet, it was clear that the crowd was there for the sole purpose of seeing Jain. As soon as she came out, she was greeted with thunderous applause – if everyone had been sitting, it would have been a standing ovation. And that wasn’t unique; it happened nearly half a dozen more times throughout the set. Clearly, this city has Jain fever. And right they should! It’s not every day you get to see an artist that’s performed twice at Les Victoire de la Musique, the French equivalent of the Grammy’s, standing 10 feet away.
While her catalogue of songs is limited, she wields them well. Using her signature effects to layer her voice, she is a one-woman tour de force. Her stage and lighting set-up was extremely simple and minimalistic – she’s done away with the excess so that she can drive the show with her passion for dancing and penchant for encouraging the crowd to join in. Indeed, rarely a minute went by where she didn’t have the crowd jumping, singing, and dancing their hearts out. As she mentioned before playing a new song titled “Paris”, written in the wake of the Paris attacks of 2016, she is a heavy-handed promoter of love, happiness, and unity. All her songs play into this theme, and it’s hard not to get caught up in the unadulterated joy she exudes.
Jain is definitely someone to keep an eye out for. If you’d like to learn more about this talented, up-and-coming pop sensation, here’s my shameless plug for an interview I did with her late last year.
- Son of a Sun
- Heads Up
- All My Life
- Lil Mama
- So Peaceful
- Makeba (Reprise)