Three years have passed since Afie Jurvanen, also known as the award-winning and Grammy-nominated artist Bahamas, had performed in Washington, DC, and his return on October 12th proved that his performance was well worth the wait. Bahamas is finally back on tour for his latest album, Sad Hunk (2020), and his stripped-down artistry blew the audience away at the 9:30 Club in DC. The concert was characterized by Bahamas’ immense talent for performing live music and incredibly clean guitar skills.
The show began with “Lost in the Light” from Barchords (2012), complete with an almost fully dimmed concert hall adorned by a smattering of white lights. His rendition of an oldie but goodie was performed by him and his guitar alone, with no other instruments or supplementary backing whatsoever. Most of the concert was carried out in this manner, demonstrating Afie’s incredible ability to engage and captivate an entire audience with just his guitar and steady voice. His technical skill was clearly apparent throughout the entirety of the show, and if his music could be described with one word, it would be
However, it was not only Bahamas’ knack for live performance that drew in the crowd, but it was his staggering charisma that charmed everyone present that evening. In between songs, Bahamas would crack a joke or two, telling stories about his ex-girlfriend with giant buck teeth and about his experience with no longer “being cool” now that he was older. Personally, I quite enjoyed hearing him speak about Up With the Jones, a song based on a self-proclaimed severely underrated topic: debt. There was no doubt in my mind that the stage was like an old friend for Bahamas; every delivery, every story, even every laugh felt like it was supposed to fit into the show. It didn’t feel forced, rather like one was listening to an old friend who happened to have a guitar and an amazing singing voice
His cool, calm, and collected demeanor did not only affect the way he played, but also extended to his wonderful opener, and later, accompanist. Sam Weber (or “Sexy Sam” as several members of the audience dubbed him) and his band mates joined Bahamas later in the show to deliver an incredible demonstration of talent, with every member showcasing their abilities to the audience throughout the musical breaks of iconic songs like “No Wrong.” Afie and Sam’s playing fit together seamlessly, providing an indisputably smooth and skilled performance. All in all, Bahamas proved at the 9:30 Club that all one really needs to blow an audience away is a few jokes, a guitar, and some emotion-filled, authentic tunes (and a hell of a lot of talent never hurts either).
Listen to Bahamas on Spotify here!