Joseph Lamar can turn a crowd into his throne and he did at Larimer Lounge on Sunday March 19th. With belting vocals and Michael Jackson like dance moves, Joseph took us to a different dimension with his late night soulful performance.
He hand picked artists like Everheart, Kayla Rae and Taeogi X freaky North to open up his live show. To start off his set he begins with “Whatever Dude” from his new album “Quarter-Life Righteous.” This album is set to be released officially March 31st. However, anyone who arrived at the show at The Larimer Lounge received a voucher for a free download before everyone else.
Full of energy and confidence, he enters into some of his more upbeat songs like “Not Gonna Call” and “I Want You.” The live set features drums, keyboard, electric guitar and vocals. Joseph explains these songs as biographical and he hopes to inspire his audience with his lyrics. When asked about his songwriting and hand in the production process he had this to say.
“I hope that I can inspire people to be themselves or to discover themselves I hope I can inspire them to explore things, question and challenge things. I hope I can inspire people to see the nuances of everything, like how complex and complicated things are. And to bare those things in mind.” He said, “We have this idea that we have to compartmentalize everything, and that we see ourselves or the world it’s like we have to be one thing or the other. Either I am this or that. I hope I can inspire people to know that you can make their own way.” You can mix things up, you can tear them apart you can be something else and that’s okay.”
Some of the more personal songs performed by Joseph like “Black Boy” and “Recitative” had the crowd clapping during and after each line. In these songs he talks about what it’s like to be a black boy and how he feels lost in the current world of social media. In the song he wonders where he belongs in all of the noise. This song features vocal harmonies and elaborate strings. His words also speak about the training wheels coming off and growing up. The audience is brought to attention while his lyrics speak volumes.
“Where am I in all the noise, those Donald Trumps and Tinder Boys, those talk show hosts, and Facebook posts, the whole western world, copy edit crop, instant photo shop. Who am I? Where am I? In all this noise?”
This song was followed by the audience screaming and cheering him on in support. Having music that can relate to so many young individuals allows the audience to feel a connection.
Joseph has been featured in The Westword magazine and 303 magazine to talk about his skills of genre and art blending. Along with musical art he he combines the artwork of a local painter into the concert experience. Erin Dougherty the creator of Ermal Monster made a doodle from the cover he was featured on in Westword. They later met and collaborated on creating his album art for Quarter-Life Righteous. She held a gallery of her art pieces for sale in the Larimer Lounge across from the bar. Erin is an art teacher for kindergarten through fifth grade. Her art has been featured in the Center For Visual Art at MSU Denver along with several Colorado artists. These are a few of the paintings that were for sale the night of the performance.
Joseph is all about art and combining things that normally don’t go together. Through this he expresses his love for Jazz, Pop, and Rock, into his live spectacle. He has been inspired by artists like Prince, The Beatles, and even the Gorillaz. During Throne Jame when he crowd surfs from one side of the room to the other he has a pair of drummers take stance in front of the stage. He added high pitched screams into the microphone while being one with the audience. This added an even bigger effect and allowed the audience to participate. Throughout his set the audience was clapping, snapping, and dancing with Joseph. He made the stage and the night his own. In his interview he said he wanted to have the audience participate and that is exactly what the audience did. Joseph also sat down to tell us about what he thinks of current politics and issues in the world and how we need to be more understanding.
“I think a lot about the state of our country and what America means to me personally. I think that we have to address the systemic oppression that historically marginalized groups have faced in this country, we have to be honest about the legacy of white supremacy.” He says, “Sometimes we oversimplify big issues which creates a notion that there’s an easy fix to something. We need to make more room for understanding.”
Before his song “Cool Guy” he explains to this audience that this song is about anyone who felt that they didn’t belong or feel like they fit in. He interacted with the audience telling them to sing along and they were more than happy to.
To end the show he brings on his sister Kayla Rae for a brief jam session where she took a word and made a two minute vocal riff of it. He continued to invite every artist who performed recently to come up and jam out as long as they wanted. He finished off the night with his song “Mom Don’t Worry.” This song made its mark by its mesmerizing vocal solo that kept the audience wanting more.
Joseph Lamar is designing a new music blending the art of dance, sound, and outstanding visuals. He is fighting back with his powerful vocals and influential lyrics. He has an stamina, an important message and undeniable talent. Nothing can stop Joseph Lamar now on his road to the throne.
Author: Gabriel Gutierrez
Gabriel Gutierrez is a junior at MSU Denver studying Business Management. He serves as the Music Director at Met Radio as well as an artist manager for D.I.M.E Denver and as the Denver college and lifestyle marketing representative for Universal Music Group. You can follow Gabriel on Twitter @GabeGutierrezG.