October 24, 2011 | Posted By: Liem Nguyen
Joanna Levesque, does that name ring a bell? Maybe you know her better as "JoJo". She was the young artist who made it big when she released her first single back when she was 14 years old with the track, "Leave (Get Out)" selling over 3 million copies worldwide. Two years later, she released another huge single called "Too Little Too Late" which reached #3 in the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
Now, JoJo is back, and she's planning to release her third album called "Jumping Trains" which comes out later this year. To promote her upcoming album, she had a small benefit tour across the nation at a handful of Hard Rock Cafes to promote Pinktober, breast cancer awareness month. One of her stops was at Downtown Washington, DC.
I first heard about the show in DC just a week before. A fellow Digbyholic/friend, Keshia, contacted me and told me about it since she knew I liked to go to shows, that I live in the DC metro area, and, best of all, it was a free show. I was pretty excited because JoJo is a pretty big musician, and I didn't expect her to have a show at a restaurant for free in the middle of the weekday. Since it was just about 5-6 blocks away (walking distance), I decided to request for half the day off, so I can get there early to ensure I get a good seat.
On the day of the show, I left work early at about 1pm. I brought my camera/camcorder gear, so I can capture the show. I decided to have lunch at Lincoln's Waffle House, which was just across the street from Hard Rock Cafe, so I didn't have to rush. It has been a while since I ate at that waffle house and missed their good ol' country fried steak. After I finished lunch, it was about 2pm, and I headed over to Hard Rock Cafe.
When I got there, it still wasn't packed, so I told them I was here for the show and if I was able to get a seat now, or if I would need to come back later. The hostess was nice and said she'll give me a railing seat next to the bar to give me a great view. JoJo came in with her Interscope label people about an hour or so later, and started doing a quick sound check. While waiting for the show to start, the manager of Hard Rock Cafe and the Interscope people started to give out JoJo's Disaster single for a donations of $5 for each CD. I decided to get two copies: one for myself and one for Keshia as a little thank you for letting me know about the free show.
The show started later than it was supposed to. It started about 4:15pm. By that time, it was a lot more packed then when I first arrived, but definitely not a crazy full house for a free show. She comes out and performs a total of 5 songs where two were her classic old songs, two songs from her new album, and a medley cover. Since I was sitting near the railing, I was able to use it as a stand for my camcorder and capture the show while I took pictures with my DSLR. I wish all shows were that easy to set-up :). On stage, she had her cute friend play the guitar. The crowd seemed to really enjoy the show considering many were tourists that came in surprised to find that JoJo was performing for a free show for a good cause.
Check out her performance below and if you would like to see the show from beginning to end, there's also an embedded playlist video from my YouTube.
[Prologue|Performance] Leave (Get Out) [Music Video]
[Prologue|Performance] Jumping Trains
[Prologue|Performance] Crazy (In Love) Medley [cvr Beyonce/Gnarls Barkley]
[Prologue|Performance] Too Little Too Late [Music Video]
After the show, JoJo stuck around for a meet and greet for the people that bought her Disaster single. The line for the meet and greet was really really short compared to the ones I've been to and considering it was a free show. Thank goodness the show was in the middle of the weekday when most people are still at work or in school. When it was my turn up, I got both CDs signed on the cover and disc. JoJo was really nice and patient with her fans. The manager of Hard Rock Cafe took the pictures from my DSLR. He was awesome even took some pictures of her signing the CDs too.
The whole show and meet and greet ended at a great time! It ended just before 5pm and right in time for me to head back, so I could carpool back home from DC. Overall, it was a good free show featuring JoJo. It was a great opportunity to have an intimate show with an artist that could sell out at a much bigger venue.
If you would like to learn more about JoJo or hear more music by her, check out her official website linked below.
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.