Last Friday night at Dinkelspiel Auditorium, Jesse McCartney slowly started making his way back into the realm of music. You might remember him from the early 2000s with his big pop hits, “Beautiful Soul” and “How Do You Sleep” – I certainly remember seeing him play his acoustic guitar on a special episode of “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.” Others in the crowd ranged from huge fans of his work to those who only knew his hit singles on the radio. Favorite songs of the crowd included “Beautiful Soul,” “Right Where You Want Me” and “Shake.”
So what has McCartney been up to since the early 2000s? He’s been making the acting rounds, notably voicing Theodore in “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and Terence in the “Tinker Bell” series. He also recently released an album in 2014 that featured a popular song, “In Technicolor,” to which many people sung along at the concert. Nevertheless, McCartney is still the heartthrob he was two decades ago, flashing smiles throughout the concert and even bringing a fan, Catherine, up on stage to serenade her with a cover of “The Stupid Things” by Robin Thicke.
The concert itself started off with a very exciting dance performance by DV8. They pumped the crowd up nicely for McCartney with bold dance moves accompanied by a set of exciting facial expressions. When the lights dimmed, a crowd started to form a pit at the front of the stage. Jesse entered the stage and started to play the riff of “How Do You Sleep” on the MIDI pad, and everybody started to sing and dance along, resulting in Jesse holding the mic out as the crowd sung the chorus with cheer. Despite a number of unfortunate technical issues, the performance was amazingly fun. McCartney was accompanied by a guitarist who has been with him since he was 16 years old, and he also debuted some new music as the audience picked up on the chorus fairly quickly and sang along.
In a short discussion with McCartney he noted that, although new music is on the way, he still hopes to stay in the acting business with a hope to develop a television series; he also wants to help develop young artists and songwriters. You can see through his work that he truly loves both acting and singing equally, as they both bring different creative aspects to them. McCartney remarked that “with singing, [he’s] in charge of the creative direction and vision … ” while with acting he gets to be a part of a well-oiled machine and see what comes out of it once everyone puts their final touches on it.
McCartney hopes to still have an audience to play for in the future. And as people screamed along to “Beautiful Soul,” you could hear a crowd of people coming together to hear of this artist that people simultaneously knew very well and not very well at the same time; I think it’ll be a long time before Jesse loses his audience.
Contact Jourdann Fraser at jourdann ‘at’ stanford.edu.