The Extravaganza


This is a photo I took of Joji during the show (all the photos featured in this post were taken by me).

Alexis Witkowski, Op/Ed Editor

Initially, I was skeptical about the idea of a virtual concert. Even though I have only attended 4 concerts in my life I stand by the statement that a concert is a surreal and out-of-body experience; there is nothing like it. Whenever I come home from a concert it feels like a fever dream. I’m always left in disbelief and have to ask myself “Did that really just happen?”. So I wondered, would a virtual concert give me that same feeling? After attending Joji’s Extravaganza I can attest that it does, in fact, maybe it’s a lot better.

I’ve been a fan of Joji for as long as I can remember. For the past 3 or 4 years, he has been my most listened to artist on Spotify, and I’ve streamed his songs for approximately 57 hours just counting this year. I already had “High Hopes” (pun intended) about the concert, but I’m pleased to say they were exceeded.

The introduction to The Extravaganza was nothing short of adorable. He rode in on an electric scooter singing “Welcome to the Extravaganza”. Almost instantly, I found myself internally screaming and fangirling. Though I was quite aware of the fact that he wasn’t physically in front of me I had a similar feeling and had the biggest smile plastered on my face for the remainder of the show. Without further ado, here is the show in a nutshell.

The first song Joji performed was “Sanctuary”; my third favorite song off of the “Nectar” Album. He was singing inside of a dunk tank and had crew members and even a baseball player throw balls at the target. Mid-song Joji falls in and I already don’t know what to expect for the rest of the show. However, I am positive that it will be entertaining.

Next, Joji sings “Attention” from his album “BALLADS 1”. He is dressed in a horse/centaur costume, you know, like the one from the Gain laundry detergent commercials (LOL).

“Mr. Hollywood” was another one of my favorites and it featured my favorite outfit from the entire concert. Joji even had a scarecrow named Gator as the pianist and throughout the show engages in banter with them.

During the multiple intermissions, I was still amused. I got to witness Joji juggling random objects, an opera singer, and a magician bending a spoon without even touching it. As Joji would say “we’re all just a couple of bent spoons” at the end of the day.

When I heard him sing “Demons” I was so delighted to see that Joji was performing songs from his oldest album “In tounges” as well as his more current ones. He sang in a parking lot while bikers were executing stunts in the background.

As Joji was singing “Your Man” he simultaneously was making an egg scramble. He was looking for the salt half the time, and almost burned himself; I couldn’t help but let out a laugh.

If you attended the show, you were lucky enough to get an exclusive preview of the live version of “Gimme Love”. Personally, I like this version a lot better and I can not wait for it to be released so I can have it on repeat.

During another intermission, a man who fans suspect to be either Diplo or Justin Timberlake (or their doppelgangers) goes on stage. Joji repeatedly pushes them away because he “can’t afford” their company and he needs them to leave set immediately.

“Like you do” (my second favorite song from the “Nectar” album) was the most aesthetically pleasing performance by far. I appreciated how he incorporated a blue background to correspond to the lyrics “lost in the blue, they don’t love me like you do”.

“Pretty Boy” was definitely unexpected. Joji was the referee of a wrestling match and had to dodge punches as he was singing.

The execution of “Run” was incredibly entertaining and beyond hilarious. I laughed so hard I spit my water out. Joji went through a floor is lava course, hopping from one tire to another, and climbing the monkey bars. After that, he proceeded to run on a speeding-up treadmill while trying to sing the song. He was breaking a sweat and visibly out of breath but continued to run and asked “dude how- when does this song end?”. I enjoyed this performance the most; Run is one of my all-time favorite Joji songs and definitely my favorite from “Nectar”.

“Slow Dancing in the Dark” was a beautiful presentation as well, and it’s definitely a classic. I’m glad he closed the show with this song.

I won’t spoil the shocking ending out of respect for Joji, but I can certainly say I’m hoping for an Extravaganza part two. The show was all over the place in the best way possible; not once did I anticipate what was coming next. There truly was never a dull moment and as someone with the attention span of a goldfish, that’s saying a lot. The Extravaganza was the most Joji thing I’ve ever seen in my life, hence why I loved it so much.

A few things I enjoyed about the virtual concert (as opposed to a physical one) is that I had a clearer view of the artist. More often than not front row seats are way out of my price range for a concert. But virtually, I only had to pay about 15 dollars to get a crystal clear view of Joji performing. Also, I’ve always been interested in and fascinated by concert photography. Though it may sound like a joke, I had a blast holding up my Canon camera up to my computer screen and snapping a few pictures. Plus the quality of the photos was surprisingly very good. Originally I was expecting the glare from the computer to be present, but I’m happy to report that it was not an issue. Due to the fact that the show was streamed, it gives the artist more creative freedom and they weren’t restricted to the limits of a stage. I’m sure half of the stunts Joji had in The Extravaganza would be much more difficult to showcase on a concert stage. Additionally, I viewed the concert 3 times which I quite obviously would not be able to if it were held in person. When I bought the ticket I was given the opportunity to view all 3 streams of the concert and got to relive that surreal feeling multiple times. The only critic I have is that I wish it was longer because I enjoyed it that much.

Lastly, a big thank you and kudos to Joji and 88Rising for an AMAZING show. I can proudly say it made my year, not just my night. I have yet to stop smiling just thinking about all the breathtaking performances.