Jacco Gardner Brings Baroque Pop To Boston

Anna Cieslik ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Editor

Last week, Jacco Gardner and his band played an intimate show for Boston fans at Great Scott in Allston, where Jacco’s distinctive baroque pop enchanted the audience thanks to his eerie rhythms and haunting melodies. Not one to shy away from standing out, Gardner took a multitude of chances during his performance, resulting in an extremely memorable set that still stands out in my mind as one of the best sets I’ve seen in a long time.

Jacco Gardner is ultimately a solo artist. He writes all the elements of his songs, from the lyrics to the different instrument parts, by himself and even records most of the instrumental parts himself. However, this is an impossible feat to accomplish live so his performance featured three supporting band members. To my surprise, the band had an extremely impressive dynamic with Jacco. The accompanying band members on the bass, guitar, and drums matched Jacco’s personal style perfectly and helped create complex, drifting melodies that enveloped the crowd. With three other musicians helping him on stage, Jacco was able to focus all of his energy on singing and playing the keyboard, both of which sounded impressively similar to the recorded tracks from Jacco’s debut album Cabinet of Curiosities.

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Jacco and his band hit their stride when they closed with “The End of August.” The hidden layers and melodic complexities I’ve come to expect from Jacco were quite prominent during this part of the set. The most impressive part by far though came during a winding, instrumental interlude where the band seemed to melt into a puddle of beautifully intricate rhythms. Sooner enough, it became impossible to tell where one instrument ended and the other one started. Instead, Jacco and his musicians managed to create one singular sound consisting of many different layers.

Overall, Jacco put on an elaborately musical set that rivaled the performances of musicians many years his superior. He might be an up-and-coming name right now, but Jacco’s distinctive musical style coupled with his extreme talent during live shows makes me believe that he won’t stay underground for long.

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