EDEN concert review
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
EDEN’s live show at the Vogue Theatre on October 2 was nothing short of amazing, as usual. EDEN is a stage name for Jonathon Ng, who is originally from Dublin, Ireland. I’ve been lucky to catch him perform before at this same venue in 2016, and earlier this year in March at the Showbox SoDo in Seattle. He has clearly grown as a performer and musician, which has been very beautiful to see throughout the years.
The setlist consisted mostly of songs from EDEN’s 2018 debut album, Vertigo. In fact, he performed almost the entire album, as well as older songs from his earlier EPs i think you think too much of me (2016) and End Credits (2015). The vibe of Vertigo is very casual, the kind of album you can listen to at any point in the day. The songs themselves are unique: They are filled with disjointed sounds of synths, keyboards, percussion, and voice, yet manage to come together very well.
EDEN’S music and live performances evoke a lot of emotion in his audience, likely because the song lyrics are relatable and focus on issues mainly regarding relationships and self-image. Many people in the audience were crying throughout most of the show on October 2.
I spoke to a couple next to me who, now married, became initially involved with each other through one of them sending the other songs by EDEN. I found this to be a lovely story and especially thought it nice that his music can bring people together so strongly. I have also connected with some of my now best friends through mutual admiration of his music.
The stage consisted of several separate sets: Three of them held a keyboard, and one of them a set of drums. Although EDEN is a solo artist he had two backing musicians on stage as well, a drummer and an accompanying guitarist and keyboardist. EDEN moved around the stage as only a solo musician would have to, as he alone had to entertain such a large crowd. He went back and forth, playing every instrument up there except for the drums. In showing off his skills on the guitar, bass, keyboard, launchpad, and vocals, he demonstrated that he is very capable as a musician. The stage also featured several pillars of lights scattered throughout, providing colourful visuals to go with the live music.
I had a VIP pass, so I was able to meet EDEN for a short while before the show. I’ve been listening to his music for a few years now and I was able to thank him for all that his music has done for me, as well as for my friends who were not able to come to the show. It is fantastic to be able to thank an artist in person for the impact their creations have had in your life, and I am grateful for that opportunity. EDEN himself was charmingly shy and seemed extremely genuine and humble in his response. He even seemed flustered by my thanks, which struck me as odd because I’m sure he gets many compliments every day. The fact that it was personal to him meant a lot to me.
Overall, the concert felt very intimately meaningful—not only to me, but the impact could be seen throughout the audience as people hugged and comforted others whom they had never met prior to the show. The sense of belonging and mutual understanding felt vital to the experience. I would highly recommend both listening to his music and buying a ticket for a show the next time he comes by on tour, whenever that may be.