We Want MORE from Jacob Sartorius

“Don’t call it a comeback!”

No matter the path in life one chooses, the facts of life have endured the test of time — first impressions are everything. Late last year, DTS was invited to Philly‘s Punchline comedy venue to check out music’s youngest and brightest new pop star, Jacob Sartorius, as he took over the country on his promotional tour of The Last Text EP.

When we initially ventured to Philadelphia, one of the standout factors of Jacob‘s performance quality was that on this particular day, he was on a tight schedule that included 3 shows in almost as many states. Even taking this into account, it could be said that I was a bit harsh in my review and in what I expected out of Jacob as a performer. I left that show feeling almost…cheated. As someone who’s seen their fair share of concerts and live performances in some of the worst technical and physical conditions, my introduction to Jacob Sartorius was that he was of the new-age caliber of musicians whose selling points are that they can garner millions upon millions of views, likes, streams, engagement, and all of the traffic in the information superhighway…but still can’t show themselves to be a quality artist. Simply put, I needed more than just numbers to make me pay attention.

My thought was, “If the way of numbers & technology is how music is going to go, then that’s is how it’s going to go.” I was reluctant to even publish that piece, as I’d never been so critical of any artist before — independent or signed — but I owed honesty of what I observed to myself and to my readers. Imagine my shock when I was invited to review a Jacob Sartorius performance a second time.

Jacob‘s return to the city of brotherly love was originally supposed to take place at The Fillmore, which weirdly enough, is located right next door to the Punchline venue where Jacob and I had had our first showdown a few months earlier. I arrived at The Fillmore pondering if the event was to take place at the venue’s smaller upper room concert space known as The Foundry, which is roughly the same size as the floor space in Punchline. Glancing at the darkened comedy hall across the street, I prepared myself once again for more 6-year-old running and screaming around a half-packed room while their parents try to ignore them for an hour-long performance. Imagine my shock when I see a sign at The Fillmore‘s box office that says “Jacob Sartorius Has Moved to the TLA! 334 South Street!”

Arriving at the Theater of the Living Arts (TLA) literally just in time to see Jacob was almost orchestrated by heaven. The size of the crowd, over 800 screaming fans & their equally stoked parents, immediately shut me up! I knew there had to be something spectacular waiting behind the curtain, and once the video intro, flashing lights, and smoke screens went up, I almost shed a tear. This was not the same young man that I had seen just 3 months prior.

Performing his hits from his previous EP and new favorites from the Left Me Hangin’ EP, Jacob Sartorius improved immensely and showed true dedication to bettering his stage presence. Most impressively, he pulled off such a large-scale production with his 2-person band and a combination of acoustics, drum machines, and recorded instrumentals. Moving from performing to a room of 80 to 800, Jacob‘s moves on stage were deliberate & precise, and his relation to the crowd screamed star quality befitting of a teen pop heartthrob. The only question I have for the kid is how can we set up Jacob Sartorius/Jessie McCartney collab?! Seriously, if I had a locker again, I’d be scrambling for a picture of Jacob Sartorius to put in it and bombard with hearts. Even the parents around me were discussing which of his songs they thought were the best, and which albums had the better catalog!

My first piece regarding Jacob wasn’t written from the heart of a person who wants to see artists (or even this artist) fail. I knew that Jacob Sartorius was a better live performer than I saw during his 2nd show out of three that fateful day in 2017, and I thank his management for giving me the opportunity to see his improvement (and share it all with my following). This reporter doesn’t have a single complaint about this 2nd performance. If there was a lesson to learn, I believe we all learned quite a bit:

  1. You have to go your hardest & put on your best performance each and every time.
  2. You never know who’s watching.
  3. Always strive for better


Left Me Hangin EP on iTunes

Special thanks to Connor Hunt, Jacob Sartorius, The TLA, and Smith & Company.

B/W cover photo by: Julia Warren (2017)