Show Review: Jo Dee Messina Is Larger Than Life in Intimate Setting


I have seen Jo Dee Messina perform in venues of all different shapes and sizes since 1996. Whether it is racetracks or casinos, large festivals or small theaters, a rowdy CMA Fest stage or a candlelit restaurant, Jo Dee never fails to treat each audience like it is her most cherished to date. The same held true tonight during an online Stageit show where, despite the lack of audible applause between songs and the post-joke laughter the infectious artist is used to, Jo Dee entered fans’ homes and reached out and touched them through computer screens.

Recorded at a Nashville studio, the elaborate setup and acoustic band accompaniment made for a truly unique experience for at-home viewers. Jo Dee, clad in Old Navy apparel, stood at a vintage-style microphone, while three guitars and a cajón lent support, creating a full concert feel.

Beginning with her first hit, “Heads Carolina, Tails California” and ending with her next song that should receive critical acclaim, “Masquerade”, Jo Dee took fans on a walk down memory lane, grabbed their hands, and led them toward the future. Also included on the set list, which consisted of the heavily requested “Bring On the Rain”, was a cover of Plumb’s “Need You Now” that left fans in attendance begging for the song to be a cut on Jo Dee’s forthcoming EP, Masquerade. In that moment, even though ticket holders were miles apart, only bound together by music and a scrolling chat, senses of respect, appreciation, and serenity were undeniable as Jo Dee relentlessly unleashed on the gorgeous plea.

Likewise made apparent during the intimate show was Jo Dee’s ability to connect with her fans and bring them joy, not only through music, but through constant and endearing humor. Cracking jokes about herself, her husband, her merchandise, her abundance of unread text messages, and more, Jo Dee’s quips were met with “LOL’s”, “Haha’s”, and expressions of unwavering love by those watching online. Though the funny comments were met with only the laughs of the few present in the room, it didn’t stop Jo Dee from taking the opportunity to treat the Stageit show like she had a packed house of overjoyed fans.

Wrapping up the show with new fan favorites “Will You Love Me” and “Masquerade”, Jo Dee explained that full band versions of these songs would be recorded for her forthcoming EP, scheduled for a Spring 2016 release. Fans in attendance were provided with a pre-order link throughout the show, being given the first chance to claim their physical autographed copies of Masquerade. Immediately following the show, Jo Dee moved the party to Twitter to ensure that her fans had a well-rounded concert experience, complete with a “tweet and greet” that gave show goers the opportunity to communicate directly with their favorite artist.

While a Stageit show doesn’t provide typical audience interaction, Jo Dee Messina proved to be a seasoned professional by bridging the cyberspace gap. She told every story as if she was receiving an immediate response, performed each song like she could visually connect with someone in the crowd, and shared pieces of herself with attendees, regardless of whether she could make eye contact with them or not. Considering this is the last of Jo Dee’s shows of 2015 (sans a few church appearances she will be making … as a hooker in a play!), fans were left with a pre-holiday treat of a reliably stellar performance and promises of an exciting 2016.

Jo Dee Messina’s Masquerade EP is now available for pre-order by clicking here. Make sure you are following Jo Dee on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and her website for all updates related to the EP and upcoming shows. And if you missed this Stageit show, there will be another one in January, so watch for those announcements soon and grab your ticket early!

Get sneak peeks of “Will You Love Me” and “Masquerade” by watching the videos below.