On April 11th, I had the pleasure of seeing Jake Wesley Rogers at The Fillmore Underground in Charlotte, North Carolina. This was one of the last shows of his first-ever headlining tour, “Peace, Love, & Pluto.” Fans were buzzing with excitement as they waited inside for the show to commence.
Opening for Jake was singer-songwriter Stacey Ryan, who gained her following in January 2022 from posting a snippet of her single "Don't Text Me When You're Drunk" on TikTok, which proceeded to blow up. After the end of her set, the crowd began to grow louder in anticipation, as the time for Jake to enter the stage was coming very soon.
Finally, the time had come. "Radio Ga Ga" began to play over the speakers, giving fans the warning that Jake's set would be starting shortly. He opened with his single released in 2021, "Middle Of Love," which brought high energy to the crowd right from the beginning. Throughout, his performance never failed to entertain me.
After a few quick outfit changes, he goes on to talk about growing up, coming out as gay in the 6th grade, and moving from Ozark, Missouri to Nashville, Tennessee at 18 to study songwriting at Belmont University, all while softly playing piano. He then flows the conversation into one of my favorite songs, "Cause Of A Scene," which is a heartfelt ballad that touches on his struggles with hiding his identity for the benefit of others.
To lighten the mood, he introduces the band with a game of Truth or Dare. This included him daring his keyboardist, Mike Miller, to hold him like he would his daughter and bounce him while singing her favorite song, "Baby Shark," daring his drummer, Simon Knudtson, to impersonate him and sing his song "Evergreen," and letting a little fan from the crowd choose his dare which was to do 40 jumping jacks (in heels, might I add).
As it neared the end of the show, Jake played a couple of hit singles: "Hindsight," which was featured in the Bros soundtrack, and "Pluto," then finished off with a spoken word piece he called "I Am," leaving the crowd inspired and the room filled with hope and love.
If you ever get the chance to see Jake Wesley Rogers live, I strongly urge you to do so. He is a wonderful person with a beautiful soul, and his music is something that must be experienced in person. You can find all of his socials and music on his website here!
All images of Jake Wesley Rogers and Stacey Ryan via Bella Wagner