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Tobias Jesso Jr. Brings Witty Banter To BK

The Canadian musician plays Music Hall of Williamsburg for CMJ

Scott Dudelson // Getty Images

BROOKYLN, NY— The Music Hall of Williamsburg hosted one of the most hotly anticipated acts of the CMJ Music Marathon on Wednesday (October 14).

Tobias Jesso Jr. capped off another long day of band showcases with a surprisingly intimate and entertaining set at the popular Brooklyn venue, where he and his band performed a bevy of songs from his debut studio album, Goon.

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The hijinks began when members of his band appeared on the balcony behind the crowd and ran through a stomping world music medley, complete with a trumpet, accordion, and mandolin. The trio made their way down to the stage where they joined the rest of their bandmates, including the mop-topped Jesso himself, for a lively performance of "Crocodile Tears."

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"If you came here to party, we got the only energetic song out of the way," Jesso joked, adding, "Just kidding, we got some mid-tempo stuff." The line drew heavy laughter from the audience and marked the beginning of Jesso's humorous commentary throughout the evening. Over the course of the show, the singer-songwriter expressed his love of Greenpoint, endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and took requests from the crowd. "We're here to have a good time," he said.

Jesso played a number of his self-proclaimed "sentimental ballads," including "Can We Still Be Friends," "Leaving LA," "Without You," and "Just a Dream," among others, pleasing many of the starry-eyed couples that filled the room. The loving mood was only once interrupted by a tongue-in-cheek rendition of the reggae-tinged "COPS" theme song, which garnered a healthy applause (as did many of the songs that night).

Jesso will return to the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thursday (October 15) for his final CMJ performance.

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