Adelaide Festival

Adelaide Festival Review: Jaguar Jonze

Jaguar Jonze is here to make the no-dancing rule even harder to abide by as she lights up the stage with her impressive energy, silky vocals and quirky-cool moves.

Jaguar Jonze excites Adelaide in a much-needed, energetic performance

Presented by Adelaide Festival

Reviewed 25 February 2021

Jaguar Jonze is here to make the no-dancing rule even harder to abide by as she lights up the stage with her impressive energy, silky vocals and quirky-cool moves.

Opening with one of her most popular songs, DEADALIVE, it was incredibly hard not to defy regulations and leap up to dance along, but the audience resisted well and settled for grooving in their seats to the energetic tunes of Jaguar Jonze (aka Deena Lynch). It’s impressive energy for a performer, especially when her audience must remain seated where normally they would be letting loose like there’s no tomorrow. Jaguar Jonze keeps up this energy for the entire show, showing that she’s a true professional whose passion for performing is within herself and not dictated by her audience’s movements (or lack thereof).

Her inclusion of playing the flute in songs such as MURDER and Rising Sun is a fun addition to the performance, as well as taking on the guitar, moving energetically around the stage and even singing slower choruses while lying on the floor (and still sounding incredible). At some points in the beginning of the show, it did feel like you were straining to hear her powerful vocals over the band, but this seemed to improve as the show went on.

An absolute highlight of the performance was her haunting rendition of the beloved Toxic by Britney Spears. Jaguar Jonze’s version oozed sultry seduction, while also creating a feeling of eeriness – it’s the dark, evil step-sister to Britney’s sweet and bubbly Disney princess.

The young singer appeared incredibly down to earth when chatting with the audience – a refreshing change from the divas, both male and female, that can be found in the music and entertainment industries. The audience giggled along as she and her band reminisced fondly about their time stuck in Broken Hill while trying to tour in Adelaide (we had a mini lockdown, they got turned away) and Jaguar Jonze’s vivid, and somewhat disturbing description of Nirvana song lyrics. She also avoided the fake walk-off-before-the-encore at the end of the show and simply asked the audience if they wanted more (and they certainly did).

When chatting with the audience throughout the show, Jaguar Jonze mentions an interesting background to the song MURDER as she explains that she wrote it while she spent over forty days in the hospital with COVID. Within the same set list appears a nice little throwback to pre-fame life with the first single she ever released, You Got Left Behind – a smooth blend of country/western pop. Another great addition is the Triple J Like A Version cover of Nirvanna’s hit Heart-Shaped Box, which she originally performed with Hermitude. A great ending to a great show.

Jaguar Jonze never fails to impress and inspire stylistically, and this show is no exception. With a clear oriental inspiration taken from her time in Japan and Taiwanese heritage, she paired oversized yellow and black platform sneakers with black knee-high socks and garters, black short-shorts and cropped top which was covered in a red, kimono-like, cropped satin robe. Black fingerless gloves were another addition and she was topped off, of course, with her signature pigtails and fluffy pom poms. It was a look, and the audience was definitely there for it.

This was Jaguar Jonze’s first time performing in Adelaide and hopefully not at all her last as her energy has helped to awaken the city after a year of live music restriction (though hopefully next time she performs, we’ll all be allowed to dance).

Reviewed by Georgina Smerd

One Night Only – Season Ended 

Rating out of 5: 5

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