Who’s more likeable than Jessie Ware? Maybe it’s a competition between her and 2 Chainz, but that’s it. Wearing an adorable red-and-white summer dress (is it a dress if the top part isn’t connected to the bottom part? Help me out here ladies), the British singer on Sunday once again had an American crowd under her spell. The bubbly Brit was like an old pro on the Mojave stage at Coachella, dishing out just the right amount of cheer and sarcasm (during “Sweet Talk” she crowed, “You should all be kissing right now!”) in between punchier versions of Devotion highlights like ”Swan Song,” “Night Light” and “No To Love.”
Her backing band was crisp and dialed-in, and while the mix went a little heavy on the bass, Ware’s sneaky-powerful voice cut through the thumps. I’ve seen her live a few times now, and her whole presentation is getting livelier and fuller with each performance. But the main difference this time was the stark increase in the size of the crowd compared to her shows earlier in the year.
And Jessie is likely to be an even bigger draw during weekend 2 of Coachella, after the US version of her debut album Devotion drops on Tuesday. The reissue has the already-essential addition to her catalog “Imagine It Was Us,” which she performed during this set. She also treated the crowd to a deep cut: “Valentine,” her duet with Sampha (her drummer filled in on vocals this time). It was a simple, evocative little number, and it showed that even as Indio, CA becomes a desert den of debauchery for two weekends, Jessie Ware knows how to keep it classy.