LIVE PHOTOS + REVIEW: Jakob Ogawa // Houston, TX


Norwegian alternative/indie artist, Jakob Ogawa announced his first U.S tour, “Teen Angel” earlier this year and had received extremely positive reactions from fans. This 22 year old singer/producer has uploaded several spunky and laid-back singles such as “All Your Love” and “Velvet Light”, causing an uproar from a vast community of indie music lovers.

Ogawa set 11 dates in 6 different states with majority being in Texas. I had the opportunity to attend and cover his Houston show in White Oak Music Hall on August 18. 

An artist by the name of Nathan Bajar came along for Ogawa’s tour as an opener. After much difficulty and confusion getting into the venue, I managed to make it for the latter half of Bajar’s set. The clean tones of the guitar and melodic voice of the singer saturated the small upstairs room with cheers from left to right throughout it all.

About 30 minutes after Bajar’s performance, Ogawa and his band mates made their way to the stage with only a small barrier blocking the fans. With back and forth lovely comments shouted from the audience to Ogawa, the singer proceeded to play the first song on the set, Sweet Dream. The angelic voice slowly took over the whole room, turning it into a chamber of paradise. All I Wanna Do, a fan favorite, happened to be the next song to be played and caused the exhilaration from the room to transform into tuneful singing by the audience. Bits of the song has instrumentals that allow for jamming out in which Ogawa and his fans took advantage of the whole time. Introductions were made and small talks formed between Ogawa and the audience which was driven by piercing roars.

Although a somewhat brief and evanescent song, Sunshine Girl was sung by many of his fans showcasing how much of his songs are loved and replayed repeatedly. The interactions between Ogawa and the audience occurred very naturally and was charming to watch. No fan was left hanging, but was left wanting more. Velvet Light, my personal favorite, had geared its way into everyone’s attention. The pinkish purple lighting showed up right on time to set the mood for this song. Ogawa’s smiling eyes, constantly shifting from left and right to pay attention to everyone’s reactions was persistent throughout the performance.

Before one of my favorite parts of his performance began, he asks the audience to join him in singing along if in knowledge of the song. To my surprise, Hey Ya by Outkast was being sung as a cover from Ogawa. The upbeat and sanguine song was modified by the band using a more solemn and dreamy approach, making it his own. The song was extended towards the end in order to get the crowd’s vocals warmed up. Singing together through a mutual liking of a song was a truly beautiful sight.

Ogawa then asks if anyone could sing to Clairo’s part of You Might Be Sleeping with him on stage. One girl was then carried right next to Ogawa and was handed a microphone. “What about a guy!!”, was bellowed from a boy in the audience and held Ogawa’s attention resulting in 2 people joining the song. Throughout the whole song, Jakob and the two singers flawlessly managed to astonish the room with their golden pipes. The collaboration of the singers did not end there, but had managed to go on for at least 5-10 minutes longer. An improvisation of instrumentals were executed and a small jam started up. Ogawa chanted small ad-libs to the audience, receiving a large booming response back. He then encouraged the other two on stage to try something out themselves. “What’s up!” and “We’re in this together” were vocalized by the two, with the audience engaging at full length. Following the wonderful synergistic moment between the fans and Ogawa, he states that he “has never done this before” and with a happy heart, “Why not? this is what it’s about.”.

With the consistent guitar tuning, the opening of All Your Love began to play, generating an uproar from the crowd filled with elation (including me). This song is Jakob’s most listened to record and has been displayed in this show by the screaming fans. You can hear everyone singing along whilst moving rhythmically to the euphoric song. Ogawa exhibits his groovy moves during Oscar Lund’s keyboard solo along with Lauritz Kaasa’s funky drum beats, Axel Øksby’s nifty bass, and Georg Minos’s ripping guitar. For a minute, Ogawa sticks out his arm, with a microphone in hand, into the audience for a reciprocal performance. Everyone was melodically shouting the words, “I’m wanting all your love, wanting all your love, your love…” to Ogawa, producing a gigantic smile from him. I managed to record the whole song down below!

Let It Pass was the last song on the setlist, excluding encore. The melancholy guitar sound had showered the mood from the song before and into a slow-dancing hypnotic vibe. Right after Ogawa had finished with the last strum of the guitar, he brings out the full band to the front and executes with a swell bow towards the audience. He then states that there is one last song to play which was, Funny Feeling, a song that has yet to be released. The song was a perfect way to end a performance like his, due to the variety of tunes being sung from groovy to mellow. 

Considering the whole performance, I would say this has been one of my favorite performances I have watched. It was a bit difficult to photograph at the same time due to the fact that I wanted to properly concentrate and take in the full experience. Jakob Ogawa’s stage presence, ability to engage with an audience, and the delivery of his songs is beyond this world. All in all, he is a very humble artist that takes his performances seriously, yet light-heartedly causing tremendous positive feedback by fan involvement. No one was left with an empty feeling, but with a contented mind.

Jakob Ogawa has yet to deliver a full length album, but is releasing a new single, “You and I” this Friday, already generating an excited base!


Connect with Jakob Ogawa:

instagram // twitter // facebook

Leave a Reply

Share post:

More from Author

More like this

Anthrax Celebrates the Big 4-0 in Houston

Those of us old enough to remember the genesis...

LIVE PHOTOS: Bad Suns // Houston, TX

Bad Suns played a killer sold-out show in Houston,...

LIVE PHOTOS: Honest Men // Houston, TX

Honest Men recently ended their short summer tour with...