Last night I went to the Art is Social event at the Delaware Art Museum.
Basically, it’s a socialite-y event where grown ups taste wines and beers and walk around a sculpture garden.
Now you may be thinking, why would an underage girl who has publicly claimed multiple times that she will never drink alcohol be at this event?
It was because Jesse Ruben was performing, that’s why.
Jesse is one of my favorite musicians. His singer-songwriter, folksy-pop style never fails to make my days better. Do I sound cliche yet? But it’s true. So when I found out he was playing a venue in Wilmington, my hometown, I was jumping up and down in my dorm room freaking out my roommate like your average college fangirl. What made it even better was that admission was just a mere $5.
I was a bit worried since the event was geared towards the wine and beer tasting and not the music, but nevertheless it was still an awesome time. I’ll take a guess and assume that most of the people there were not there for the sculpture gardens but for the alcohol and that most people will never have heard of Jesse or his music, but that made it even more awesome (for me.)
I went with a friend, my younger brother and his friend, and my little sister. You can probably tell that we were a little out of place in the crowd. When we got there and paid for our tickets, Jesse was probably 10 feet away from us talking to some people. Then he started to walk towards us. I said hi and that we were excited to hear him play. He asked us for our names, shook our hands, and told us that he was going to play “every song he was ever written.” I took the opportunity to mention that my brother really liked his first album, Aiming for Honesty. He asked which songs we liked and a few I’d suggest for any one who’s interested are “Advice,” “Predictable,” “Unlocked,” and “Point Me in the Right Direction.” He said he’d try to squeeze in “Predictable” or “Unlocked” but alas he admitted he didn’t remember how to play them since it had been so long. He did play “Advice” and “Predictable” though. My brother actually wrote down the entire setlist on his phone, but he’s not home now so I can’t ask him for it. Yeah, so I had just had a legitimate conversation with Jesse Ruben, yes I did. Enter euphoric feeling.
We wandered around the sculpture garden for half an hour before he started playing and went through his labyrinth thing that was supposed to be calming and relaxing. It was really just a one-way maze.
Around 8:30 we set up our spot on the grassy field but ended up moving even closer to where Jesse was playing because he was literally tucked away in a corner. The only people who could have had a clear view of him were sitting on the patio area.
He started the show with “Stupid American Guy” because it’s the only one that mentions art. You should click the link, I highly recommend it. And from there he played a bunch of songs, new and old, and covers, too. I have a few videos that I tried to take before some people sat in front of me and obstructed my view.
“Bleeker and 6th” (One of my favorites!)
A song worth mentioning is “Family.” I’m not really a crier, but that song which I had never heard before tonight brought tears to my eyes. I didn’t cry but I felt like I was going to. It really touched something inside me.
During his break aout halfway through the event I got to buy one of his CDs and get it signed. I have bought every one of his songs on iTunes already, but for an artist that I love this much, I would pay twice for his music. He deserves it. And I got a picture! Finally, after seeing him in person three times (once at his CD release in Philly in 2010, second time at a Click Five concert where he wasn’t performing in 2011) I got a picture and autograph and talk to him for that matter. Wow, I just realized that since I discovered his music, I have seen him once every year.
What I love about Jesse is that he is real, especially when it’s just him and his guitar. He writes his own songs from his own life most of the time (of course there are exceptions like “Bleeker and 6th”.) His guitar and vocals are always spot on when he’s live. And he tells great stories at his shows and is extremely honest about them. He’s a dying breed. I genuinely admire him as a person.
Oh, did I mention his mother came and I was in the bathroom while she was there? That was kinda cool too. I really wish I had just gone up to her and just said, “I love your son. He makes my life so much better.” That wouldn’t have been awkward at all, right?
Oh, I forgot to mention that Jesse’s releasing a new EP this Tuesday June 12th, titled “Thoughts I’ve Never Had Before, Part 1.” Please check it out and buy it on iTunes so he can make the charts!