With the first fall cold front taking over, it actually became quite fitting as Joji played his first of two sold-out performances at the Fillmore Auditorium as part of his Smithereens Tour September 10th & 11th, 2022. Not even the cold could stop the line of fans from wrapping around the block to get the best seat in the venue for the beloved artists who’s promoting his November release, Smithereens.
As the venue became quickly packed, upcoming artist & Joji’s tour DJ Savage Realm was the first opener who brought good laughs & vibes in warming up the crowd. Savage free-styled his set, jumping between bantering with the audience and educating, then playing unreleased music off the iPod AUX. One of the highlights of the night came from Savage bringing harmony in playing the much-beloved “Gary Come Home” from Spongebob Squarepants, which has become popular online thanks to Savage Realm and the tour.
While many couldn’t top such an anthem, REI Brown managed to do so as the last opener of the night. Fresh off releasing his debut album “Xeno,” REI brought chiller pop music vibes with a solid vocal performance that kept the audience tapped into his performance. The support was mutual as REI stopped multiple times to ensure the safety of fans passing out, showing that nothing gets overlooked. Overall, both openers were enjoyable and it’ll be great to see where the future leads them.
At that point in the night, the entire venue was practically shoulder to shoulder with palpable excitement in the air. The venue went dark for a moment, then the legend himself Joji walked onstage to ear-piercing roaring cheers as “Sanctuary” kicked off the night. The only way I can explain the rest of the night is the ultimate “you had to be there” feeling. From going down the setlist of classic songs as he broke out sturdy dance moves, to bantering between songs, the highlight of the night were the comedic moments that Joji is most known for. The night consisted of almost hitting Fillmore’s chandeliers with t-shirt slingshots and cannons, Savage Realm eating the stalest postmates order onstage, and getting to the heart of figuring out if the surprise Elvis impersonator smokes “ZA.”
All of this was topped with the experience of “SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK” and “Glimpse of Us” concluding the show. As someone who’s practically grown up with Joji, that experience will be a Top 10 moment of my career that I’ll never take for granted, along with the sea of people who were there to experience it. If you have the money and time, rearrange your schedule to check out this show.