To catch an artist at the start of their tour always feels lucky. Like maybe you’re going to experience a more refreshed version of the performance and in most cases, this is probably an accurate assumption. But in regards to Jarrod Gorbel, I don’t think it really mattered.
The venue was filled with young, pretty, well dressed girls and a handful of perfectly groomed boys, all of which appeared to be in love with Jarrod Gorbel. Both as a musician and as the man himself.
For as simple as his music is, just a man and his guitar, it would be easy and almost expected to have a lackluster live show. But his lack of restraint and natural hilarity grants these lovesick suicide (his words, not mine) songs a lighthearted almost joyous presentation.
The setlist contained only a few Honorary Title songs. Mostly he performed unheard new songs, “I’m going to play some new songs and I know that’s not what you want and you wont be able to sing along unless you’re one of those weird people that mumbles your way through songs like “blahhhh blahhh.” He finishes this sentiment off with a strange face, a squeal and than launches into the strongest of the new songs, “Devil’s Made a New Friend”.
Gorbel might be better suited as a comedian because almost every word that came out of his mouth sounded like a well rehearsed joke. He even did an impromptu depression medication commercial. He thanked the openers, talked about how one of them loves big wet hairy and mainly kisses. “What the fuck else is there to say? I love you or not. Do you love me? No, no, I’m not talking to myself. Uh, I’m not even here to see you, fuckin’ a, I need to start to drink earlier”¦when you’re playing. AHHH, this is my meth voice!”
A girl in the crowd casually and quietly said, “My balls shrunk, I just can’t do it.” He laughed and shrieked, “I know, RIGHT? You have performance issues, he likes big men”¦she’s writing, we’re all just sharing memories. Creating a vibe.” Like most things Gorbel says, he nailed it. No matter your interest in his music or opinion on this genre, his performances are part comedy and part hang out session infused with beautiful well crafted songs. It doesn’t get much better than this.
He’s both an artist to watch out for and someone who should not be denied. Buy his EP, check out a show, wear his soft cotton t-shirts as a loin cloth, whatever suits your fancy, but if you plan on passing Jarrod Gorbel by, you will eventually regret it. And I’ll say, “I told you so.”
Show took place on Friday, April 23, 2010 @ the Beachland Tavern in Cleveland, Ohio