By: Jesse Perez
Former YouTube star and now current music sensation Joji made his latest stop on his Smithereens Tour in Houston, Texas at Houston’s newest venue: 713 Music Hall. George Miller, now known by his professional name Joji, has come a long way from those old YouTube days where he played famous personas such as Flithy Frank and Pink Guy, which originally propelled his stardom, but now he’s moved on from those days and has become an even bigger star because of his music career. The strong loyal following of his fans has continued throughout his career and only got stronger once he started making music. That was more than apparent as soon as you stepped into the venue! The crowd chanted “Joji! Joji! Joji!” Every chance they could before he made his appearance on stage with YEAH RIGHT.
The entire crowd’s energy was consistent throughout the show, singing along with every song, especially the older SoundCloud songs Joji would refer too many times to see if the fans really knew some of his first released titles. As a fan of mostly his YouTube days, there weren’t many songs I recognized, but his personality is something the crowd as well as myself could definitely recognize and resonate with. Joji kept everything so engaging with the crowd and mixed in his typical humor, which was a big bright spot for myself because not only did I thoroughly enjoy the music and the performance, but the jokes and sounds made back and forth with the DJ and Joji. At one point, there was an electric scooter that Joji was cruising around the stage with while performing a song. That was completely unexpected, but it kicked the crowd’s energy to another gear, There were objects used to toss out free merchandise to the crowd like a t-shirt canon, and what looked to be a homemade catapult which was just hilarious to look at on stage flinging t-shits at clamoring fans.
Joji performed well with the enormous Houston crowd that showed up to support him. You could tell he had everyone in the building eating out of the palm of his hand, especially when he came off stage and just before coming back onto the stage, as the crowd was yelling for an encore! Like clockwork, he came out knowing he had purposely left his most popular and streamed song for last, SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK. As this song started, you knew this is what many people in the crowd were waiting for. The same goes for me. The song was the perfect way to end an amazing night and an outstanding performance from Joji. It has encouraged me to dive deeper into more of his music and I hope I see him live again soon.