July 29, 2011 | Posted By: Liem Nguyen
From thousands and thousands of miles away, the Australian-Korean twins Janice and Sonia Lee, also known as Jayesslee, traveled to the Washington DC metropolitan area for the first time ever to perform in the Fresh Freedom Concert. These identical twins performed at the show with the local hip-hop trio group called Anointed Music Productions, also known as AMP Movement, at the Pilgrim Baptist Church. What makes this show special was that he was also free of charge. This was an awareness show to get the word out about the North Korean refugees.
I first found Jayesslee back about a year ago through some of the fellow Digbyholics. They showed me their cover of "Fireflies" by Owl City and completely fell in love. These twins were just divine. They have great voices, they're pretty, they're twins, and... they have a cute Australian accent! Who could not like them? Every time, they released a new cover, I would rush over and hear them sing and hope they speak because I love hearing girls with Australian accents. A year later, they released a video on their second YouTube channel called JayessleeTV about their show in DC which you can see below. After hearing and watching this video, I was so excited since I thought I would never be able to see them live in person. The only thing that may have stopped me from going is that it took place at a church and since I was not Christian, I felt it would be awkward being there. I decided to go regardless because meeting Jayesslee is pretty much like a once in a lifetime opportunity.
On the day of the show, I was trying to get off work around 5pm in order to commute home from car pooling then headed over to Burke to the church. I got there about 45 minutes early and could not believe there was already at least a hundred people already waiting in line. I was lucky enough to be one of the last few people to make it into the room where they were performing. The rest of the people who came later had to watch the show from the church's gym or cafeteria. I was not expecting the show to be this overwhelming, but then again, it was one of the few shows I've been to where it was free. Free shows tend to get a bigger crowd. I didn't have a seat in the front row, but I had the next best thing; I was standing right behind the last row of seats. It was a great spot to set up my camcorder and monopod for center stage view.
Before the show started, I decided to go buy Jayesslee shirts for me and my sister. They were selling the "Jayesslee You Like This" and "I <3 <3 Twins" t-shirts. I decided to get the "Jayesslee You Like This" shirts because I liked the Facebook themed shirts. They were a whooping $25 for each shirt, but worth it since I'm a huge fan of theirs and they came all the way from Australia.
The show started around 7pm, and it opened up with AMP Movement. They performed about 4 to 5 songs. They did a great job! It wasn't the first time I've seen them perform. I first heard them perform at Rooftop Pursuit's DC's EP Release Party. After their set, they started the segment about the North Korean refugee awareness.
Thereafter, Jayesslee was introduced and finally made their way onto the stage to a overwhelming crowd yelling and cheering their name. Sonia came out with her guitar and Janice came out with her black framed glasses. They brought along their friend, Andy, who played the drums for them throughout the night. Their performances were up-to-par with their YouTube videos and even better. They had great stage presence and was very entertaining with their stories. Their set was comprised of two-thirds covers of big name artists, and a third were originals and covers of Christian worship songs. They ended the night with an encore to a fun and crowd-engaging "Bubblegum Song".
To see their whole set from beginning to end, view the embedded playlist video below. If you would rather just view their performances individually, you can also click on the links I've provided below from my YouTube channel.
Playlist Link: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5E36CC052BAC2E78
[ Prologue | Performance ] Price Tag (Covering Jessie J)
[ Prologue | Performance ] Just The Way You Are (Covering Bruno Mars)
[ Prologue | Performance ] Sunday Morning (Covering Maroon 5)
[ Prologue | Performance ] Nobody (Covering Wondergirls)
[ Prologue | Performance ] Breakeven (Covering The Script)
[ Prologue | Performance ] Coming Home (Covering P Diddy & Dirty Money)
[ Prologue | Performance ] Officially Missing You (Covering Tamia)
[ Prologue | Performance ] 'Korean Hallelujah Song'
[ Prologue | Performance ] Failure in Disguise (Original)
[ Prologue | Performance ] What Faith Can Do (Covering Kutless)
[ Prologue | Performance ] Bubblegum Song (Original)
[ Prologue ]
After the show, everyone scattered out of the room and headed to the merchandise stand or stood around waiting for Jayesslee to come out and have their meet and greet. I was one of the people who waited for their meet and greet. About half an hour has passed, and I yet to have seen them come out. I started to see people come out with signed Jayesslee t-shirts and post cards, so I asked them if they knew where they were. They said the meet and greet was in the gym. Unfortunately, I was not aware of this since it was not announced, so I was just standing around and wasted valuable waiting time. I started to get in line, and it started to move slowly. It then started to move faster and faster. As I got closer to the gym which led outside of the church, there was an announcement saying that the meet and greet was ending shorter than planned due to noise complaints from the neighbors. My first thought was why have the meet and greet line lead to outdoors where there's a neighborhood close by? They should have kept everything in doors! I was left disappointed and upset because it was like a dream come true to meet them, talk to them, and get a picture with them. Since they are all the way from Australia, I will probably won't be able to see them again. Although, I was disappointed and upset at the end, I still felt very fortunate to have seen Jayesslee perform live.
Huge thanks to Jayesslee for coming to DC to have an incredible free show!
If you'd like to see pictures from the show, click on the link below: http://smu.gs/pYmMe4
If you would like to know more about Jayesslee or hear more music from and by Jayesslee, visit their official pages:
If you'd like to read up on more shows and see more pictures and videos I've taken at live shows, please be sure to visit http://shows.LiemPhoto.com.