JoJo Goes Underground… Literally…

Although child star-turned pop icon JoJo normally enjoys the glam life, donning a full-length vinyl trench coat from the stage of the catacomb-like Underground Arts, she more closely resembled...

Although child star-turned pop icon JoJo normally enjoys the glam life, donning a full-length vinyl trench coat from the stage of the catacomb-like Underground Arts, she more closely resembled an anti-[super]heroine straight out of the pages of a Marvel publication.  Last Tuesday, October 5th, the songstress brought her Trying Not to Think About It Tour to a super sold-out Underground Arts.  Her hyper-erotic R&B anthems and $45 tour shirts seemed quite out of place in the underground art space that usually houses punk and metal acts, but that was part of the fun of the evening.  Those in attendance to the relatively intimate show also seemed to be largely unfamiliar with such settings, likely spending their time indulging in nightlife at swanky dance clubs or at the kind of tours housed in arenas.  15 minutes before her set was supposed to start there was still a line to get in wrapping well around the block, which went on to include a plethora of people who failed to recognize that they needed a vaccination card and to be at least 21 to enter.  Thankfully starting 45 minutes late, the performance was “an evening with” set that spanned the singer’s career over the course of 19 songs, yet managed to not take much more than an hour.  The bulk of the set focused on the recently released Trying Not to Think About It EP and 2020’s Good to Know, JoJo’s first album released on her own imprint, Clover Music, with only a taste of previous releases (She also included covers of SWV’s “Rain,” “Jazmine Sullivan’s “Pick Up Your Feelings,” and Drake’s “Marvins Room.”)  Although the sweatier-than-they’re-likely-used-to crowd often struggled to see and hear the starlet amidst the concrete walls and inconveniently placed pillars throughout the room, fans and songstress alike quickly came to embrace the unusual circumstances and happily shook their asses to jams like “Anxiety (Burlinda’s Theme)” and “Leave (Get Out)” (which closed the evening in epic fashion) and bangers like “Comeback” and “Lonely Hearts.”  It’s like they say, sometimes a pop star shines brightest in a punk club…  Well, maybe they should say that…

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.

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