This weekend, Joji headed to DC for a sold-out show at the Anthem. The Japanese artist visited the district as part of his Smithereens tour, which will run until the end of October. The tour began last month with a set at the Day N’ Vegas music festival and will include a total of seventeen shows throughout the US and Canada. The tour will conclude before the release of Joji’s upcoming album, Smithereens, which will be available on November 4th.
Joji started his career on YouTube, posting comedy videos and the occasional parody rap video. He rebranded as an R&B musician seven years ago and has been increasingly popular ever since. Some of his top songs include “Glimpse of Us”, “Gimme Love”, and “Slow Dancing in the Dark”, all three of which have seen massive popularity on TikTok in recent months. Since shifting to music, Joji has been less active on social media and stays out of the public eye, making the Smithereens tour announcement especially exciting for fans.
The Joji concert featured two openers, Savage Realm and Dhruv. Savage Realm got the crowd riled up with a heavily comedic rap set. Selecting songs from an old iPod classic, his set was unique and incredibly funny. At the beginning of his set, he opened a mosh pit in the crowd for audience members to play “rock, paper, scissors”, which generated laughter and cheers from the audience. Following Savage Realm was indie artist Dhruv, who played slow ballads and soulful tunes. His stage presence was the exact opposite of Savage Realm’s; however, he kept the audience engaged throughout and was an excellent performer. His band was equally as impressive, and guitarist Joseph Deadwiley blew the crowd away with his immaculate stage presence.
Joji came onstage shortly after Dhruv left and was joined by Savage Realm as his DJ. In what was possibly the least serious concert in history, Joji stopped the show to play Smash Bros, fired a t-shirt catapult into the crowd several times, and even had a Captain America impersonator join him onstage. The show was incredibly funny, which was unexpected given the depth and severity of Joji’s music. Joji played fifteen songs, starting with “Sanctuary”. The setlist featured all of his hits, including an additional acoustic rendition of “Slow Dancing in The Dark”.
The show was unique and fun, and the complete opposite of what was expected. The set changes where surprisingly quick, keeping the audience engaged throughout. The setlist was a bit short, however he made up for it with his personality and crowd interaction. Joji delivered a great performance, and despite the strangeness of it all, it was a fantastic experience.
Final Grade: B+