Masego and VanJess Get Jazzy at The Fonda Theatre

Sunday night at The Fonda Theater started with a bang when the DJ spun N.E.R.D’s “Everyone Nose (All the Girls Standing in the Line for the Bathroom)” with Ginuwine’s “Pony” as the crowd waited for the concert to begin. Perched within the wall of the venue, the DJ hyped the crowd with tracks by 21 Savage, Goldlink, and Miguel until VanJess began their opening act.

VanJess, an R&B duo of sisters Ivana and Jessica, strutted on stage and didn’t lose an ounce of fierceness for the rest of the show. Their coordinated all-white outfits and effortlessly elegant choreography created an aura that was laidback yet engaging. The two women exuded confident girl power as they played tracks like “Addicted,” “Control Me,” and their own favorite track “Honeywheat” off of their latest album Silk Canvas.​

The best part of the performance was how involved VanJess was with the crowd. They halted their graceful vocals only to point out fans and let the crowd know how “beautiful” we are. It’s a simple task, but one that often gets overlooked by performers. These captivated the crowd and created a sense of community between the performers and audience. Their stage presence and vocals were as silky smooth as the silk graphic projected behind them throughout the performance. VanJess set the mood just right for headliner Masego to take the stage.

Masego describes himself as a “trap house jazz” musician. This title was made abundantly clear by his entrance onstage with saxophone in hand. Returning to the saxophone throughout the night made each song even more powerful. These jazzy renditions supported by his band and two backup vocalists created a dynamic sound that resonated through the audience.Masego performed all of his hits and even brought out Tiffany Gouche, De’Wayne Jackson, and SiR to perform their verses on “Queen Tings,” “Just A Little,” and “Old Age” respectively. The crowd kept the energy high and Masego matched the energy perfectly. His charismatic personality made for an amazing performance, especially when he paused his regularly scheduled songs to improvise looped beats on a drum machine. The audience happily watched as Masego did what he does best: create beautiful, eclectic music.

The energetic affair continued as Masego asked the crowd if they liked jazz then played “YOU GON' LEARN SOME JAZZ TODAY” along with saxophone riffs by both himself and a member of his band. But like all good things, this concert had to come to an end. Masego exited the stage and was met with cheers from the crowd. We wanted an encore and fortunately Masego happily obliged. He ended the night by giving the audience one last chance to dance with the songs “Girls That Dance” and “Navajo.”

As a fan of Masego seeing him live for the first time, I was absolutely blown away by the impressive show he put on. There wasn’t a second that I wasn’t dancing or swaying to the one-of-a-kind melodies. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my Sunday night.

Photos Courtesy of Dilara Yuksel