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Jill's Story: Her first time at 9:30 Club

Jill reminisces about a magical night- her first show at the 9:30 Club.


In some ways, I remember my first 9:30 Club show more through the second time I saw the artist perform there. I was virtually a non concert-goer until I went to a festival in the summer of 2012. From that point on, I didn’t go more than a month without seeing live music.

I had a friend who was already into the Washington, D.C. music scene, and she asked me if I wanted to see Jessie Ware. I didn’t know who Jessie Ware was, but I listened for a bit and agreed to go. While my friend has always been the first in line, she wasn’t specifically a front row person until I converted her. So, we went up to her usual spot on the balcony. I remember the electric feeling as the opener took the stage, a singer named Rochelle Jordan with a beautiful, big afro and voice to match.

I remember the sense of wonderment I felt as I took it all in. Both the sound system and the fans filling the room had a pure energy that washed over me in waves. I knew, in that moment, that I was part of something exceptional and that it wouldn’t be long before I was back.

Jessie Ware is a soul/R&B singer from England with an absolutely gorgeous voice- the kind that is soft, yet powerful, then raging and passionate. I loved the show that night, without having been familiar with her.

Two years later, I saw her again and it was one of my very favorite shows of the year. The difference was astounding- she now had a full band that made her sound even more glorious. I loved seeing this evolution and hearing her express her love for the 9:30 Club. When she closed with Say You Love Me, it felt like the world stopped. I’ve never been so present. I relive it every time I hear the song and I know, that night in that place, that I was part of something truly special.

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