Jacob Dodge Lawson, better known as JVKE, is an American singer-songwriter, producer, and social media personality who brought what tour feels like to Toronto’s History on August 28, 2023. It was a family affair, with attendees from different age groups. Including children with their parents in attendance attests to his popularity amongst different generations; it was a sold-out show.
Kicking off the night was Maisy Kay, a London native and Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter. She had excellent stage awareness as she swayed and danced while performing her songs. She also had an eye-catching glittery butterfly microphone, which grabbed everyone’s attention. Her cover of Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush highlighted her set.
Following was HARIZ, another Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He came in hot with his guitar, performing his songs. The crowd seemed entertained as funny antics complemented his performance displayed on the video board throughout the set. He kept the engagement high when he switched to playing the keyboard and had the crowd singing along to his cover of As It Was by Harry Styles. At this point, everyone in attendance has warmed up and is ready for JVKE.
Everyone was greeted by a light beam with an AI voice like Alexa or Siri, which explained the theme and how his set would flow through different moods and emotions broken down into four segments. Also, the stage setup mimicked his room with a bed, drum kit, and a desk with his keyboard, reminiscent of where he would have written the songs he had composed since he started his musical career.
JVKE slowly approached the stage, sporting a cozy outfit, pajamas and a hoodie. For the first segment, he performed tracks like this is what falling in love feels like, which is the first theme of his set, moon and back, and Dandelion. The video boards displayed immersive visuals that captivated the audience as he moved around the stage and made eye contact with his fans as they sang with him.
For the second segment, the theme was heartbreak. So, he proceeded to perform this is what heartbreak feels like. Afterward, everyone was treated to a demo listening party where he teased two demo tracks. First was Superstar, where he showcased a ukelele loop. The second was titled Infinity and Beyond, where he engaged everyone to participate as he created a TikTok video to get everyone’s reaction. He ended the theme with a cover of Lucid Dreams by the late rapper Juice WRLD.
The next segment was followed by this what sadness feels like. It was highlighted by a cover of So Will I by Hillsong UNITED: which related his success to love and his belief. Briefly shifting to the final theme, he performed this is what falling out of love feels like. Premiered an unreleased track featuring the Jonas Brothers, titled this is what growing old feels like. To much anticipation, the moment everyone waited for, JVKE headed to the keys and started playing a familiar intro. The crowd went wild as they heard golden hour being played. Everyone in attendance could not help but sing along to the infamous track. JVKE had one last trick up his sleeve at the show’s end. After performing, i can’t help it; he thanked everyone and left the stage. Satisfied, everyone began to make their way to the exits until a phone conversation between JVKE and his mom played alerting for an encore. He ran back to the stage and closed off with Upside Down to the delight of the attendees, especially the younger crowd. Everyone jumped for joy as they enjoyed the show’s last moments.
JVKE showcased his versatility throughout the night with his lyricism, relatable topics, and various instruments he could utilize to create his sound. It wasn’t just a show; it was an experience. The future is bright for the young rising star.