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Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

Jacob Collier impresses with Djesse Volume 3 tour

At the Hollywood Bowl, Collier’s performance combined everything from high-level experimental harmony to audience participation.
Photo by Cathy Li

I never thought so much sentimentality could come from a man wearing bright yellow Crocs, but I guess that’s part of Jacob Collier’s magic: he is the very definition of larger than life.

Collier doesn’t just walk on stage; he sprints at top speed (it’s impressive how much velocity he achieved considering his footwear). He doesn’t just speak; he qualifies every statement with an adjective that’s the epitome of gratitude and optimism. He doesn’t just sing; he belts and croons and every other verb because “singing,” which merely describes the physical action, isn’t enough.

I first became aware of Collier when I saw an Instagram Reel of him conducting the audience, creating one of the most beautiful harmonies I’d ever heard out of thin air. As an amateur musician, I understood just enough to be amazed. When I checked out his other work, the breadth and quality of his musicianship became entirely overwhelming. I knew I had to see him perform live at least once in my life. 

Collier’s concert on Wednesday, Sept. 13 took place at the Hollywood Bowl, part of his Djesse World Tour. It was my first time at the venue, but I knew I was in the right place when two people in front of me broke out into an impromptu rendition of a song by Stevie Wonder.

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I sat in the nosebleed section, so I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the concert from so far away. I was also unsure as to the structure because Collier’s music is so experimental that it doesn’t really have lyrics we can sing along to. But from Collier’s first song, accompanied by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, I realized that all I needed to enjoy myself was to simply be present. 

The only way I can describe Collier’s music is that he sang in cadenzas — passages within music played for “virtuosic display.” His genius was apparent throughout the entire show, from the way he deftly played multiple instruments to switching between registers within the same song. He handled every musical aspect with such reverence, and he wasn’t afraid to bring in others who felt the same way to share his spotlight. 

His setlist included collaborations with the band Take 6, Brandi Carlile, MARO and his mother, Suzie Collier, who accompanied him on the violin. His band members, Emily Eibert, Robin Mullarkey, Christian Euman, Erin Bentlage and Alita Moses, also had singing parts within several compositions. 

It was such a treat to see so much variety. Collier’s music was already diverse in genre, but his guests added their own nuances that made the two-hour show feel like an entire festival. 

If you’ll forgive me for the English class nature of the following statement, I truly think the “X” projected over the venue by criss-crossed spotlights was the perfect symbol for Collier’s concert. In this case, the treasure marked by the X was one of the most innovative young musicians of today whose concert was probably the most beautiful noise pollution Hollywood has ever heard. 


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About the Contributor
Cathy Li, Print editor-in-chief
Hi everyone, my name is Cathy Li and I’m in the 12th grade, serving as your Print editor-in-chief. Though I blame Pubs for my irrationally strong hatred of Oxford commas and at least 23% of my stress-induced breakouts, I wouldn’t trade journalism for the world. I’m glad to have found an avenue in which my natural nosiness is celebrated.
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