Playing to a very full, sold out El Rey Theatre on Sunday night in Los Angeles was Australia’s Julia Jacklin on tour in support of her recent album Crushing.
Over the duration of her set, Julia Jacklin took the audience with her on a beautiful, heart wrenching, relatable journey associated with the pain of a break up and the challenges of its aftermath including reflection, being alone, learning, remembering, confusion, longing, independence, and importantly, reclamation of the self and body.
Julia’s beautiful lyrics, vocals and instrumental arrangements perfectly complemented the complexities of what she sang about. It was as though everyone in the room was granted access to Julia’s private, innermost thoughts and vulnerabilities – those which are often difficult to articulate, let alone share, even with those closest to you. The honor and responsibility were not taken lightly. The audience welcomed Julia and her band with loving arms, holding space for the intimacy, fragility and importance of both the grieving and growing processes, offering silence and stillness in the quiet moments, and singing along and applauding in others.
When Julia came back out on stage for a much anticipated encore, she sang Avril Lavigne’s “I’m With You,” and it made sense – both with regards to the musical story she had shared throughout the night as well as to a more general emotional release of some sort that we had all been gearing up for all night. The song showcased another dimension of Julia’s vocal abilities, energy and power. As they had been doing the whole set, the crowd sang and swayed, feeling together. And the night came to a perfect close.
Words and photos by Zoe Sher