Popular singer, songwriter, and producer JVKE announced his first head-lining what tour feels like tour earlier in 2023, with stops planned in major cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin, and Washington D.C. Fans quickly sold-out most venues across North America in anticipation of what would be a stunning and heartfelt performance.
The tour announcement follows the massive success of the viral song “golden hour” from JVKE’s 2022 album “this is what __ feels like (Vol. 1-4),” and his earlier debut performances in New York City and Los Angeles. Over the last year he has created more viral content and collaborated with many artists around the world – such as ILLENIUM, Fuji Kaze, minLee, Ruel, and SB19 – on remixed versions of the hit track.
Supporting acts Maisy Kay and HARIZ, with their beautiful vocals and irresistible charms, set a cool and fun vibe for the night at the iconic 930 Club in D.C. on August 31. Maisy Kay, holding a microphone adorned with a crystallized butterfly (to match her sparkling fairy outfit), was enthusiastically welcomed by young fans. Throughout her set she interacted with the crowd while she performed her recent songs, “First Time” and “After Midnight,” as well as surprising everyone with a remarkable cover of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill.” Young people on the barrier were thrilled by her performance and offered her handmade bracelets, excitedly tossing them onto the stage when she accepted the gifts.
HARIZ (rhymes with febreeze, as he explained) warmed up the venue even more with his smooth vocals and funny, light-hearted stage presence. He performed some of his latest singles, “X My Mind” and “Break Up Season”, and a few older tracks like “OVRBRD” and “Think of Me”, all while a technician running the LCD screens was having the time of their life writing funny messages and live searching gifs to match his music. The crowd was highly amused by HARIZ’s interactions with the screen antics, and by the comments shouted from the crowd during his set. Switching from guitar to piano, he decided to perform his own rendition of Harry Styles’ “As It Was,” and the crowd eagerly joined in singing. Pausing for a moment to invite everyone to help record a birthday message for a friend, he then rounded out his robust set with a soon-to-be-released track, “Without You” (featuring Andi), followed by a song from his 2022 EP, “Border.”
After a short break to reset the stage, an “AI Emotional Assistant” voice rang through the venue, finally introducing JVKE. As the lights steadily grew brighter a bedroom scene was displayed, including a bed, acoustic guitar, drum set, a desk with a keyboard, and a ukulele.
Fans were treated to songs from across his entire discography, such as “Upside Down” from earlier days to “Dandelion” – a Galantis collaboration – and more recently tracks like “this is what falling in love feels like” and “moon and back” from his 2022 debut album. Mid-set JVKE asked everyone to vote between two unreleased tracks – “superstar” and “to infinity and beyond” – but ended up playing both due to the demand. He also teased his newest unreleased song, “this is what growing old together feels like,” featuring the Jonas Brothers.
When he sat down at his keyboard and the stage lights dimmed, gold glitter appeared on the screens and the crowd took out their phones knowing it was time for the iconic song, “golden hour.” As he reached the first chorus, everyone joined in singing as loudly as possible in a chill-inducing moment of unity.
At the culmination of the super energetic show, giant cannons blasted butterfly-shaped confetti across the entire venue, and it delicately fluttered down while fans jumped around waving joyously to “i can’t help it.” This indicated the end of the show, and JVKE departed the stage; however, fans vigorously chanted for one more song, so after a minute he returned and happily gave a short encore.
Children, teens, and young adults – knowing the lyrics to every song – made up most of the fanbase at this completely sold-out show (as well as for the tour overall), which proves just how powerful of a tool social media can be. JVKE, together with Maisy Kay and Hariz, delivered a truly incredible performance, and judging by the love and support they received from fans, there is no doubt that they shined in their own unique ways on D.C.’s 930 Club stage. Photos and words by: Sarah Peter (@miyabina.live)