“OMG I got one of her screen printed vinyls.! Can you hold my spot at the stage while I get another one?”
“Hey guys this is my haul from the Jesse Jo Stark show.”
“This is the best spot, can you grab the setlist as soon as the show ends?”
This is the scene at Saturday night’s sold-out show for L.A.’s very own Jesse Jo Stark. The crowd came early to fill the room and also check out the debut performance of guitarist and singer-songwriter South Dakota.
If you aren’t too familiar with Stark, you might know her as an emerging rockstar with a choke hold on an angsty Tik Tok-er’s playlist. For me, I was introduced to Stark back in 2013 as the princess of the Chrome Hearts dynasty as she lit up the blogs in her teenage years, performing at the The Chrome Hearts Factory.
As she continues to make a name for herself, Jesse Jo Stark is much more than her family and industry ties. She truly embodies her retro sound and knows how to put on a sensational show. The lights stay low as she saunters across the stage with the playfulness of an stray cat.
“You might be a dog but I’m a pussycat, And you know how to bark but I will scratch right back…”
But don’t be fooled by those hazel eyes and leather dress, Stark is a tough cookie with the bite to match. All her songs aren’t “Dandelions” and “Sugar High.” She’s a “Slayer” and if you have heard “666 In The Suburbs,” you know she’s not privy to the rock and roll lifestyle.
At The Echo, she told the crowd that she “doesn’t want to see any L.A. Shit” of everyone just standing around. There had to be movement, and the crowd delivered energy, flowers and even a custom leather jacket!
“You can’t see the real me me me me me me me me.”
You can hear the heavy Cramps influences behind those old Hollywood and country western vocals. If I had to describe Stark’s sound I would say she’s a spicy witches brew of Stevie Nicks, Mazzy Star the Cramps and a pinch of 1997’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
While the crowed at the Echo was appreciate and engaged, I would love to see Stark perform at a punk show with a more vibrant crowed. I want to see jumping and maybe some light moshing next time. I think her album and performance calls for it.
Jesse Jo Stark’s new album, DOOMED was released on Sept. 21. The 11-track album is one of Stark’s most personal pieces of work to date, encompassing all the various shades and contrasting elements found within an individual from the intimate to the obscure.
“The album touches on the duality of life like love and pain, lightness and darkness, glamour and horror,” Stark says. “I don’t think we are all just one thing, and so for this, I offer all of me.”
Photos & Words by Asha Moné