Jessie’s Girl, a collective of seven artists in a New York City-covered band, recently buzzed through the DC-area, buzzing through an ingeniously selected set of signature tunes from the 1980s at The Fillmore Silver Spring.
The band delivered upbeat good times and invited the bustling crowd at The Fillmore Silver Springs to forget the outside world for a while as they produced a colorful nostalgia package that was lovingly mixed to hit all of the right notes. The band members wore bright clothes, sang with gusto, and elevated their ’80s nostalgia through honest talent and showmanship.
A band like Jessie’s Girl intends to drag their audience happily through a garden of timestamped produce rather than singularly focus on a specific vegetable. To elaborate upon the metaphor, by choosing a strong cross-section of songs from different genres, the band served up a full meal rather than say a single course available from the likes of a Guns N Roses-only cover band.
And so the terrific selection traversed genres and experiences, ranging from “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston to “Any Way You Want It” by Journey to “99 Red Ballons” by Nena to “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton.
On Jan. 13 at the Fillmore Silver Spring, Jessie’s Girl featured three different lead vocalists, each rotating in for songs that fit their adopted personalities and personal flair. And so Mark Rinzel kicked things off with “Working for the Weekend” by Loverboy and crooned through “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” by The Police the shut the show down with a powerful singalong of “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey.
Watch Jessie’s Girl perform “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” by The Police on YouTube:
Early in the show, Jessie’s Girl introduced Jerome Bell-Bastien, who entered with style to sing “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson. But Jerome also went above and beyond the call of duty with stirring renditions of “Take on Me” by a-ha and “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John, among other songs.
Of course, Jessie’s Girl packed a powerful punch with Jenna O’Gara, it’s unbelievable female vocalist, who masterfully took on a number of guises for fun-filled turns on classic songs like “Like a Prayer” by Madonna and “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton. Her clever cover of “99 Red Balloons” by Nena switched between English- and German-language verses, and she vamped like a champion through “Don’t You Want Me” by The Human League. Jenna was truly amazing.
Jenna also wailed through an emotive cover of “The Warrior” by Scandal — always a personal favorite.
Watch Jessie’s Girl perform “The Warrior” by Scandal on YouTube:
The rest of the band were true pros who added loads of ambience and musical muscle to the ensemble. But you have to applaud Karlee Bloom on keytar. She was a blur of neon-clad energy who never stopped smiling or playfully exaggerating her movements as she swung her keytar like a guitar and danced across the stage.
I caught Jessie’s Girl in DC back in 2015, and since then, the cover band’s star has risen as they appear on ’80s music festivals and experiences alongside remarkable musicians of the era. The band seem to have a fairly active calendar, so make a point to catch them soon, particularly if you’re in the NYC area.
Here are some photos of Jessie’s Girl performing at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Saturday, Jan. 13. All photos by Mickey McCarter.