Cassandra Jenkins brought her healing powers to Baby's All Right and soothed a crowd amidst a massive heat wave, giving a much needed moment of bliss.
As excessive heat continued to berate New York City, Cassandra Jenkins took to Baby's All Right to play a wonderful show of meditative, healing music. Still playing in support of my favorite record of 2021, Jenkins treated the packed crowd to her balm-like tunes of tranquil, tender moments that shifted between ambient jazz, electric folk, and shimmering dream-pop. Opening with "American Spirits," a track from her follow-up and companion EP, her use of pre-recorded vocals added layers to her band's rich, full sound which enhances each track, giving the live versions a superior quality to the ones on record. Armed with additional guitar and at times double flutes and saxophones, her ethereal charm and ASMR-esque lyrical delivery took the crowd to another realm, a needed distraction from the relentless temperatures, producing a droning balm that lifted the night closer to a level of delight and euphoria. "Pygmalion," a one-off single from earlier this year, revved up the night, adding thick, layered guitars and walls of sound that echoed the shoegaze tones of Slowdive as sparkling lights behind them only added to the display of cosmic wonder. As the night drifted between such soothing and healing sounds, the trance like state never broke, her voice forever enchanting and as her band emphasised it with lush melodies, it was clear that she was happy to be home and playing to her friends and family. With six additional musicians behind her, the sound was perfectly bold and forceful, applying pressure at just the right moments to relieve stress and tension, an audio-massage that mixed New Age moments with post-rock surges of buzzing guitar. "Hailey," written for a friend, was one of the more grooving songs of the night, not quite reaching the premix elements she shared on the EP, but still doing plenty to keep the spirit of the night fully engaging. Closing the night with "Hard Drive," it was clear that the track has turned into her triumphant finale, extended beyond the one on the album and blown-out into something massive and moving. As the band fully embellished the swells and driving force of the rhythm section, it created a truly spellbinding performance that felt life-affirming and grounding, like a reset and recharge, fulfilling the song's power and bringing it back full-circle. The night ended with an encore featuring a duet and a spoken-word song over whirling synth and saxophone, breaking from the vibe of the main set and giving things more of a down to earth finish. Jenkins demonstrated her raw energy and glowing power with solid conviction and pure excellence. She's a mesmerizing performer and experiencing her live show proved her abilities to make magic through music.