Eliza Hardy Jones has been here before. She played keys in sang in both Grace Potter’s band and Strand of Oaks, two acts that have graced XPoNential Fest in years past. This time around though, all eyes were on Hardy as her solo project took to the River Stage. And in the pressure of the main stage, she made the most of her big moment.
In an XPN Fest preview interview with The Key, Jones said that regardless of her position on stage, she’s always engaged in the music. Playing songs from her January solo release Because Become, Jones clearly showed engagement on stage today. After all, these songs are who she is. They’ve been in the works for years, as Jones would tinker with them whenever she got a break from her participation in her other projects.
Jones kicked off her set today with spacey synth tune “Because Become,” then had her sound evolve with the harder pop-rock jams “Who Am I?” and “Echo.” She introduced the members of her backing band, who hail from a variety of local acts – Nick Krill from Teen Men on guitar, Pat Berkery from The Bigger Lovers on drums – saying they earned major “friendship points” for helping her music come to life. In the end though, the biggest mark left on the crowd today came from Jones’ soaring vocals. At times she smoothly tiptoed around a peaceful lower volume, but often belted choruses that climbed several notches.
Jones made it clear how honored she was to be playing XPN’s festival after being here before. And now, it’s clear that what we saw today has been a long time coming. Eliza Hardy Jones belongs in the spotlight.
Who Am I?
Couldn’t Leave You
Eliza Hardy Jones, xpnfest-local, xponential music festival 2016