By Scott Reid
Having just dropped her second studio album, Yessie, the Canadian singer-songwriter Jessie Reyez has embarked on a quick-fire UK tour named "The Yessie Tour." Following the announcement that she will be supporting Sam Smith on their "Gloria the Tour," there is a lot of excitement around the Canadian.
Donning the stage on a chilly Sunday night at a sold-out Manchester Academy 2, she came armed to the teeth with songs from Yessie and hits from her previous album.
The night was supported by Lavi$h, an up-and-coming rapper hailing from Winnipeg. Having been promoted by Drake, Lavi$h rocked the stage, performing songs from his various singles. Lavi$h blurred the lines between hip-hop and pop music and created an electric atmosphere to continue the night.
The second support act for the night was London-based Deyaz. The Guardian had referred to him as "one to watch" in 2022, and this was clear from his performance. Donning a swish red letterman jacket, Deyaz was met with a roar of applause. Deyaz has gained some popularity with some of his songs going viral on Tiktok, with his clips gaining over 13 million views.
Now that the crowd was warmed up, they were prepared to welcome Jessie to the stage. As the lights dimmed, the chants of "Jessie" began. Despite the venue being under a thousand people at capacity, the cheers and applause could’ve been a stadium full. The stage was decked out with large model hands, but it only added to the vibe in the room; we were all in one hand tonight.
Jessie Reyez has a way with the audience. Each and every song she performed was met with unanimity by the excited crowd. Her in-depth interactions with the audience, however, were a particular highlight.Half way through the night, a member of the crowd held up a sign saying, "PLAY WORTH SAVING. IT SAVED ME". When Jessie saw this, she sang the song a cappella (despite the fact that it was not on the set list).For this moment alone and the fact that such a small act would’ve meant so much to that single person gave me a shit tonne of respect for Jessie.
Throughout the night, Jessie engaged with the audience in an oddly personal manner. Whether it was engaging with a Welsh fan, doing her attempt at a Manchester accent, or asking everyone’s relationship status, she came across as extremely genuine in an industry which sadly has started to become more and more artificially engineered by what will sell the most records and streams. Her charisma only backs up her insane talent when it comes to songwriting, both for herself and for other acts (noted examples include her writing the 8 weeks number one song One Kiss by Dua Lipa & Calvin Harris back in 2018).
While Jessie Reyez's music isn't normally my cup of tea, she delivered an awe-inspiring performance, and it's easy to see why the hype surrounding Jessie continues to grow. Her music was funky and soulful, and it is clear Jessie has incorporated her talents for writing chart-topping songs into her own musical catalogue.
The set list included the following items:
Mood (Pt. 1)
Break Me Down
Queen St. W.
Worth Saving (ACAPELLA REQUESTED BY AUDIENCE MEMBER)
Still C U
Apple Juice/Great One
Mood (PT 2)
One Kiss (Dua Lipa cover)
Massive shout out to Erica Correa for giving me a quick brief to Jessie before the night.