Jessie Ware - Bowery Ballroom - 1/17/2013
She ingratiated herself further with a slew of pop culture references, dedicating "Sweet Talk" to Kanye and pregnant Kim, begging the crowd to make sure that "Lena [Dunham] and the girls" attended her next New York concert, and, in the midst of a cover of Bobby Caldwell's "What You Won't Do for Love," segueing briefly into a segment of "Age Ain't Nothing But a Number" and mentioning matter of factly that Aaliyah's birthday was the day before. She also mentioned her performance on Fallon the night before, revealing that she had "three really big spots that I had to cover up" at which the crowd, apparently familiar with the bane of sudden breakouts, cheered wildly.
Ms. Ware played both of her big songs, "110%" and "Wildest Moments," but the highlight of her set was a song that she wrote for her brother, the ballad "Taking Water." She confessed that she had almost left the song off of her album, as it had been recorded so early, but that it was one of the songs of which she's most proud.
But even that emotional performance didn't match up to the moment when one Derek charged forward to give Ms. Ware a bouquet of flowers. She was genuinely moved by the gesture, scolding the man in the bathrobe for trying to interrupt "my moment with Derek" and dedicating the song "Something Inside" to her hopeful suitor, even tearing up a bit as she closed the song out. "This is so wicked," she said. "I love New York."
Random Notebook Dump: It seems as if Ms. Ware may be on the cusp of becoming something of a gay favorite. The gay couples holding hands in the crowd easily outnumbered their heterosexual counterparts, one of those couples acting as the source of the most worthwhile overheard comment, below.
Overheard: "I just had lunch with a friend and she was telling me about her friend who is Madonna's assistant. Madonna has two assistants: one is the girlfriend assistant and one is the bitch-who-gets-shit-done. She [the bitch-who-got-shit-done, I think] said it was a pretty fierce experience."