This past Sunday, January 15th, I got to ring in my first show of 2023 with the tender indie beats of Kississippi, Highnoon, and Jane Lai as they performed in front of a packed room at Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right. The three bands complemented each other’s sounds quite well as they all shared similar vibes but had distinct musical styles, with Kississippi and Highnoon even sharing a few band members. Brooklyn-based outfit Jane Lai kicked things off first, followed by Highnoon and finally Kississippi, both of whom are from Philadelphia.
Jane Lai played six songs, including a few from her 2022 album, Received Receipt, as well as a brand new track. While I was only familiar with Kississippi’s music at the start of the show, it didn’t take much to convert me into a member of the Jane Lai Fan Club. Along with an endearing stage presence, Lai cleverly incorporated elements of daily life in a manner that manages to be beautifully philosophical in her music. Contemplative, soft, and exploratory are all useful words to describe the tone of Lai’s music and I would not be surprised to see her playing even bigger stages in the not-so-distant future.
Highnoon took things in a more 90’s alt direction with their set as they played several unreleased tracks as well as some of their newer singles such as “Back to You” and “Are You With Me.” Front-person Kennedy Freeman even rocked a Deftones shirt with a cat on it to give a nod to some of the band’s influences (which many of us cat parents and devotees here at Full Time Aesthetic can greatly appreciate!). The band delivered a highly energized set, complete with a guitar solo from guitarist Brendan Simpson and plenty of rocking out around the room with some of Highnoon’s friends and family present. Interspersed between moments of rocking out were times of reflection and the band have struck a balance with the emotional pacing of their songs, many of which address topics of relationships and life’s complexities. They also announced that they are working on new tunes and we very much look forward to what lies ahead.
Kississippi ripened the room with feeling throughout the entirety of their dreamy and captivating set, mostly playing songs off their fantastic 2021 album, Mood Ring, in addition to a sweet cover of Sixpence None the Richer‘s classic “Kiss Me.” I had been wanting to see Kississippi for quite some time and was not only enamored by how they embodied the emotional landscape of their songs but also by how they connected with the crowd. During “We’re So In Tune,” frontwoman Zoe Reynolds even led the audience through a YMCA-style dance routine as folks moved their arms around to make the shapes of W, S, I, and T. (I’m personally in favor of more bands leading their audience through dance routines like this since not only is it fun, but also helps bridge the gap between artist and fan.) Towards the end of their set, Kississippi brought out a few members of Highnoon to join them onstage as they performed Sixpence None the Richer’s “Kiss Me,” a fitting song for them to cover.
I’m so glad I was able to kick off 2023 with Kississippi, Highnoon, and Jane Lai. I had especially been wanting to see Kississippi for quite some time and am so grateful to have been present for the show, especially at a venue as intimate as Baby’s All Right. If there’s anything to take away from Sunday night, it’s that it is going to be an excellent year for music.
Scroll down for setlist, pics of the show (photos by Amanda Meth)
Kississippi setlist: Twin Flame, Dreams, Cut Yr Teeth, Indigo, Big Dipper, Moon Over, We’re So In Tune, Around Room, Kiss Me (Sixpence None the Richer cover), Greyhound