Junip at Detroit Bar Friday Night

Chasen Marshall/OC Weekly
Jose Gonzalez of Junip.
May 6, 2011
Detroit Bar

All that was missing on Friday night was the Venice Beach drum circle. It was a lovefest for soft music and a Swedish man. Just ask the women in the crowd.

"I love you, Jose--like seriously," one female voice cried out. When Junip's lead singer, Jose Gonzalez announced during the encore, "We play one more," the same voice responded, "Whatever you say, baby!"

That tends to happen for a man with a voice and sound that can sooth a schizophrenic.

Chasen Marshall/OC Weekly
The women, swooning.
​Gonzalez had them at hello: "First time being in Costa Mesa, thank you." When he swayed, the crowd followed; when he bobbed, the audience did too.

From the moment Junip began to play--following the opening set by the Acrylics--the crowd fell into a trance, lulled away from conversations and cocktails, with closed eyes and swaying heads, following the rhythm of "Official" and then "Howl," and continuing to lose themselves in the acoustic chords and fleet drum beats.
Gonzalez is best known for his solo work, but his musical endeavors began with Junip, which came early, while growing up in Sweden. Now the three-man band is touring North America from the comfort of a massive metallic tour bus which hogged four spots in the Detroit Bar parking lot. 

Chasen Marshall/OC Weekly
​Before the music even began, it was obvious Friday was a different type of show, a different kind of crowd. It's quite likely the bar/club set a record for the most red wine it's ever sold.

The hour-long set continued, with each song blending into the next. The only pause came when Gonzalez offered brief comments in that endearing broken English voice of his.

As the set wound toward a close, with a crowd strikingly more subdued than before Junip began, the pictures increased and the women swelled forward toward the stage. 

Chasen Marshall/OC Weekly
Please don't go, Jose.
​Gonzalez's first attempt to leave the stage was simple, but the crowd seemed confident an encore was coming. They were right, first the mood was dialed down even further, before Junip closed with "Always," a crowd favorite. This time, when he tried to leave the stage, he was pawed at and blown kisses. He disappeared for the night.​

Personal Bias: Quite familiar with Jose Gonzalez's solo work, but his work with Junip took the music to a new and (surprisingly) improved level with increased complexity.

The Crowd: Packed, but mostly women. The first row, all women. All swooning. Jose could have gone home a 

Overheard in the Crowd: "That last one was worth my $20, I'd even say I owe $10 more," said the older Hispanic dude wearing the leather World Poker Tour jacket and bedazzled beanie.

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