Jessie Ware Brings Joy to Brooklyn Steel

Jessie Ware Brings Joy to Brooklyn Steel

October 04, 2022

Jessie Ware – Brooklyn Steel – October 3, 2022

Four years ago, Jessie Ware was miserable. In her telling, she’d been playing to empty rooms, missing her daughter and husband and feeling uninspired. But her show at Brooklyn Steel in 2018, she said, was a turning point. It was so good and full of such “warmth” that she went home renewed. “I wrote Spotlight,’ I wrote ‘Soul Control,’” she said, two of the most knockout dance ballads on What’s Your Pleasure? — her 2020 album overflowing with them. The sold-out house roared adoringly.

Ware’s return to Steel on Monday night was a triumph in every sense. The English chanteuse put on, in the parlance, an absolutely massive show. Clad in a bright blue floor-length mesh robe, she opened the show with “Spotlight,” a yearning and earnest dance number. It was a concert, sure, but it was immersive theater too. She was joined onstage by a fantastic live drummer and a guitarist and keyboardist. But the two dancers and two backing singers — both of whom soloed — were mesmerizing. Undeniably and supremely talented. On “Read My Lips” (Pleasure), all four broke out black fans as Ware vogued. For “Step into My Life” (Pleasure), a dancer accompanied her, holding a baby disco ball and orbiting her as if she were the sun. The dancer ended the song with a vigorous solo, moving with the music in spins, kicks, falls and twirls. At some point the robe went away, and Ware, in a long pony and sparkling like a disco ball (subtlety was not the name of the game here) kept the show rolling with “Mirage (Don’t Stop)” (Pleasure) — whose beat turns on a fat and funky bass line and begins, “Last night we danced and I thought you were saving my life.” Later, there was a seductive chair dance and a perfectly choreographed group number for her 2022 single “Free Yourself.” On the 2020 album’s eponymous track, Ware wielded a whip. It’s camp, baby!

Ware’s show was a celebration, an ode to living in the “yes” and leaving it all on the floor. It was also an astonishing feat of performance, and her powerful vocals sounded as brilliant and clear as ever. I left with a big, stupid grin, reeling from a crowd totally lit on serotonin. Maximum joy. —Rachel Brody | @RachelCBrody

(Jessie Ware plays Webster Hall tonight.)

Photos courtesy of Ken Grand-Pierre |

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