Even before Sarah Jarosz and her band took the stage, the onstage-decor of candles and greenery set the tone for a midday dose of warm, sun-dappled Nashville nostalgia. An impressive array of instruments also hinted at something special to come but none of these signs could truly foretell the magic of the successive show. When Jarosz entered with her band just several hours before returning for a sold-out performance later Friday night, a packed audience greeted the group with cheers. The singer opened the show with “Jealous Moon,” the first track off of Polaroid Lovers, which she released just last week. Propelled by the rising backbeat of her drummer Eric Doob, the song represents an electric new turn for the singer-songwriter without sacrificing her distinct and powerful voice. Jarosz conveys its poetic lyrics detailing memories of envy and heartbreak with gorgeous, visceral vocals. The song, like others on the album, expands and strengthens her sound while always supporting her heartfelt singing and poignant writing.

At this point in her career, it would not be hyperbole to call Jarosz a seasoned veteran of the music industry. She has already released seven albums, won multiple Grammys, and formed I’m With Her, a supergroup trio also featuring Nickel Creek fiddle-player Sara Watkins and guitarist Aoife O’Donovan of Crooked Still. Jarosz initially burst onto the folk scene as a prodigious young mandolin player with a stunning voice. She released her first album Song Up in Her Head, a year before beginning her studies at the New England Institute of Music. In the time since, she has largely avoided the typical Nashville path of collaborating with hitmakers – until now. At the performance, she mentioned her collaborations with producer Daniel Tashian as an integral aspect of the new project.

The audience was thrilled to hear several tracks from this latest project, which the band brought to life with their remarkable musicianship. Guitarist Seth Taylor continually cycled through different guitars and traded licks with Jarosz in a stand-out moment while Jeff Picker’s brilliant bass playing deepend the group’s sound further, particularly with a spectacular, soulful solo. The show marked an early stop on a year-long tour journey to come, showcasing an artist already well into her career as she continues to carve her own path. See photos from the concert below; Jarosz returns to the area next Thursday when she plays The Strand Theatre in York, and tickets can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

Sarah Jarosz
Free At Noon
  • Jealous Moon
  • When The Lights Go Out
  • The Way It Is Now
  • Columbus & 89th
  • Days Can Turn Around
  • Take The High Road
  • Mezcal and Lime
  • Runaway Train