After being unable to tour behind his 2020 debut album, experimental alt artist Jean Dawson embarked on his first headlining tour this year with second full-length, CHAOS NOW*, which hit No. 35 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart. Below, he reflects on the experience.
Being that I had no expectations, everything I received was hyper-special. The tour was completely sold out, which was wild, and the audiences were right there with me. I feel like I made thousands of friends in the span of a month. Nothing was expected, so everything was gifted.
The first Los Angeles show [at The Roxy in November] blew — there were so many suits in the building standing in VIP, just staring and analyzing, seeing how they could commodify the energy in the front, where the audience was at full throttle. I hated it. That show stood out because I could clearly see the disparity between love and greed. The true VIP was the pit where people were feeling the push and pull of what we do together. The area where the “important people” stood was a daycare center for those who feel above the true sentiment of what we did that night. The next night in Los Angeles was amazing, though.
When I did meet-and-greets, which was about every night, I got to see how many people felt a kinship with something that just lived in my head until it didn’t. It’s like getting 20,000 hugs all at once. I think I’ll spend my whole life trying to understand it and, moreover, appreciate that feeling. It was love. For the first time in my life, I felt like no one was judging me. The only challenges that felt like hurdles were not getting sick over and over, which ended up happening.
I’m trying to practice having no goals — sounds counterproductive, but I just want to be. Take everything with grace, gratitude and f–king heart. The shows will [continue to] be legendary because it isn’t about me — it’s about them.