Max Watts, Melbourne – December 5
Supports: Kings and Reika
By Jessica Morris
The hype around Jakubi’s return to Australia after months away touring the US has been palpable, with excitement for their new tunes at an all time high. Only days after flying back home from recording in LA, they brought their A-game to Max Watts, and electrified a packed out crowd with their infectious hooks.
Melbourne locals Kings started off the night and were followed by Reika, ensuring guests were ready to groove with the Jakubi boys, and as soon as they set foot on the stage the energy reached a whole new level. Whether they were delivering the soul funk tones of ‘Down’, or bringing it back old school with ‘Feels Like Yesterday’, they delivered a flawless set. Lead singer Jerome commanded the crowd with his luscious vocal licks, his rich soul tones reminiscent of the greats stemming from the Deep South. At times a Capella and also using keys and talk box, he showed he has the chops to bring Aussie music to a worldwide audience. With each of the guys being multi instrumentalists, there was no shortage of toe-tapping melodies. Jacob owned the bass guitar and transitioned between the moog, giving us the kick we needed to sing along.
Addzy literally did not stop dancing the whole night, and between his on point guitar skills and his energy, you were given no choice but to join in the fun as we sung along to new tracks like we’d known them for years. Robert swapped with Jesse between guitar and drums, and the two of them brought a funk and groove that you will rarely find in other acts. Add in their cool BVs, velvet tones and a stage presence that most musicians’ only dream of, and Jakubi killed it. Not ashamed to get down and teach us dance moves, there was never a dull moment and ‘Bye Bye Baby’ and ‘No Love’ emphasised the prowess and professionalism of the talented locals. Mixing it up with crowd favourites ‘Can’t Afford It All’, and ‘Couch Potato’, before finishing with an encore of ‘Hell No’, you got the feeling that the 5-piece enjoyed the performance even more than the elated crowd did.
Fresh, unique and uber talented, on their return home Jakubi proved that they are not only one of the best talents in Australia, but are up there on the world stage. Forget Max Watts, they have a sound and stage presence made for arenas. And by the looks of it, it won’t take long for them to get there.