Free at Noon Flashback: JR JR strips their set down for World Cafe Live

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JR JR | photo by Emily DeHart for WXPN

After Paul Keen of Pawnshop Roses graced the stage for today’s Free At Noon, indie pop group JR JR followed up with a set that, to everyone’s surprised, wound up being semi-acoustic. Down a drummer, the band’s Daniel Zott and Joshua Epstein played stripped-down arrangements of songs from their newest album Invocations / Conversations, as well as some older cuts and a cover.

Beginning with “Big Bear Mountain,” then moving to “Day In, Day Out,” the band paused to pay their respects to the late New Orleans jazz and blues singer Dr. John, who the band had the pleasure of opening up for. JR JR went back in time and performed one of their older cuts, “Same Dark Places”; the two’s chemistry was evident, as they remained rock steady even without the presence of their percussionist. To close out the set, Epstein wanted to perform a song that addressed how he is feeling about the current political climate, but wanted to keep things apolitical. He chose 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up?” a near-perfect tune to close out the set, and the song had the crowd clapping and singing along as Zott followed Epstein’s guitar strums with some playful piano noodling.

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