North Texas Daily

Sarah Jaffe gets personal with hometown crowd

Sarah Jaffe gets personal with hometown crowd

September 30
14:54 2015

Sam Beckett | Staff Writer

The Oaktopia crowd was treated to a well-known figure in the musical landscape of Denton Sunday night. For an hour, Sarah Jaffe performed a personal set to a large crowd on the Travelstead Mainstage.

Fans started moving in an hour early to secure a spot close to the stage where Jaffe would be performing. Jaffe, a Denton transplant by way of Red Oak, Texas, also showed up early to set up her gear and check the levels of her Fender precision bass and hollow-body electric guitar.

There is a personal quality to Jaffe’s music that allows fans to relate easily to the Texas native. Jaffe is long-removed from being fresh on the music scene. Her debut album “Ever Born Again” was released eight years ago, and she has been touring and releasing music ever since.

“When I started, it was just me. I didn’t know what it all was,” Jaffe said.

The growth she has achieved in both her sound and performance abilities was immediately evident Sunday evening. She opened her Oaktopia set with the blistering track “Revelation,” which begins with a subtle synth track accompanied by an echoing line.

“Revelation scares the hell out of me,” Jaffe crooned to the enthusiastic crowd.

The personal nature of Jaffe’s lyrics creates a close-knit environment at her concerts, especially in Denton.

“I generally see bigger crowds when I come to Denton, which I am grateful for. Denton will always be my favorite,” Jaffe said.

Her gratitude translated into an intimate connection between performer and crowd during her smooth “Slow Pour.” Jaffe snaked her way across the stage, bobbing her head and boogying to the beat as the crowd swayed and danced along. She heated up with the help of a heavy backbeat to her moving song “Defense.” The crowd moved in a collective trance as sounds of the song filled the air and the sun set on Oaktopia.

The highlight of the evening was a new take on Jaffe’s classic song “Clementine,” which arguably launched Jaffe into her career as a performing musician as the lead single off her album “Ever Born Again.” Jaffe began “Clementine” by thanking her mother, who was in the crowd, for convincing her to add the song to her debut album. Once a stripped-down folk song, Jaffe transformed her hit song into a soft, mellow, synth-latent sing-a-long.

“I was so tired of performing that song, one day I thought that, ‘we can make this song better, even after eight years,’” Jaffe said on the change. “I really enjoyed watching the song transform.”

Each song during Jaffe’s hour-long set engaged the crowd in a different way. Often the members of the crowd would yell encouragements, praises and offerings of love up at the once-local artist. Jaffe’s attitude toward music and performing is a major reason her set was so intimate despite the large crowd.

“There is no pretentious air about music. I like performing in Denton because it is a great music scene without being a scene,” Jaffe said.

Jaffe has high hopes for her future and will be getting back into the studio in early 2016 to record a new set of songs. She is excited try new things in the studio.

“Art should excel, break down boundaries and always be changing,” Jaffe said.

While there are changes on the horizon for Jaffe, one thing will never change.

She will always have a home in Denton.

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