XPN Fest Recap: J.S. Ondara stops time at the Marina Stage - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
J.S. Ondara | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN

At 3:45 p.m. today, XPNFest froze. With just his magical voice and an acoustic guitar, J.S. Ondara cast a spell on his audience at the Marina stage. As he sang the entirety of his debut album, Tales of America, Ondara captivated festival goers and managed to bring a few to tears.

After nearly every song he played, Ondara remarked, “that was a song. This is another one.” While yes, what he performed are songs, that title feels too simplistic. Ondara’s songs tell detailed stories and are overflowing with emotion. “Torch Song” and “Give Me a Moment” oozed with feeling and sadness. Some of the songs Ondara played were so impactful that he occasionally apologized for them being too sad. Despite the aura of sadness, Ondara’s set was nothing short of beautiful.

Ondara’s music has a timeless quality to it, making his performance feel detached from reality. From the first notes of “American Dream” to the last “goodbye” of “Saying Goodbye”, Ondara commanded his audience. They stood practically still and silent in reverence of his talent. They were fully invested in what he had to say, and before they knew it, 40 minutes had passed and it was time for another band to play.

Check out a gallery from J.S. Ondara’s beautiful set below.

American Dream
Give Me A Moment
Good Question
Television Girl
Master O’Connor
Torch Song
Days of Insanity
Saying Goodbye

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