Singer-songwriter, husband and wife duo, Alexander Jean, have been going full force with their musical musings since they came onto the scene in summer of 2015. Since then, Music Connection has had the pleasure of serendipitously running into Alexander Jean and catching random live performances—an Oscar’s party in February 2016, which led to an interview at the SXSW festival shortly after, as well as at the Grammy Showcase in May 2016
The last time MC saw the duo comprising Dancing with the Stars’ Mark Ballas and hit-songwriter BC Jean was their headlining tour in July 2016. In one year, Ballas and Jean have tied the knot with an beautiful and elegant wedding, Ballas did a run on Broadway for his role as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys and they most recently released their second EP High Enough, which skyrocketed to No. 1 on the singer-songwriter charts on iTunes.
Shortly following after the release of High Enough, Alexander Jean are currently embarked on a cross-country tour with pop rock band R5, and they made a stop in Ballas’ hometown in Houston, TX at the fairly new White Oak Music Hall. After seeing a group perform numerous times in a relatively short amount of time, expectations tend to be quite high—high enough? But Alexander Jean always deliver a more than satisfying set and leave the audience wanting more.
Though the stage antics are relatively the same, audiences never get bored during the performance. From the get-go, both Ballas and Jean enter the spotlight dressed to impress in their gypsy-bohemian attire that immediately grab attention. Add Ballas’ expert musicianship and Jean’s flawless vocals and that’s the recipe for getting hooked. Whether it’s the big kick drum, the tambourine or Jean’s seductive “genie-in-a-bottle” dance moves, audiences can easily dance or clap along to each song even if they don’t know them well enough.
Not only do they showcase artistically modified renditions of their own original songs but they also include catchy covers interspersed throughout the set. The set list consisted of selections from their first EP Head High including “Thief” opening the show and the acoustic rendition of “Roses & Violets” closing; and current EP High Enough: “High Enough” and “Fuck You No One Loves You Like Me,” which they omitted the f-bomb for the younger crowd. In between, they also cooked up a cover mashup of pop favorites: Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You,” TLC’s “Scrubs” and Chris Brown’s “Loyal”—a quick, fun little ditty but it definitely engaged the audience. It was obviously a mashup but the transitions between the three songs were so seamless, it could have been its own song. In addition, to commemorate Ballas’ Broadway debut, they sang “Sherry” from Jersey Boys, which exemplified their diversity as artists and musicians—basically, they can do anything in music.
Unsurprisingly, Alexander Jean captured the ears of new fans—all lined up after their set excited to meet and get pictures with the duo. The veterans they are, Ballas and Jean made sure to introduce themselves during their set and promote their social media handles with a simple yet effective poster on stage. They shared sweet stories about their wedding (and how this tour is their “honeymoon”), Ballas’ Jersey Boys run and how their songs were written, which warmed the hearts of the audience.
In this reviewer’s opinion, the thoughtful lyrical content is probably for more mature, older audiences to understand but it goes to show with these live performances that it’s still relatable enough with catchy musicality for new listeners. Nevertheless, once again, the duo has yet to disappoint audiences—it’s honestly probably not possible. They’ve proven time and time again that they are a force to be reckoned with and will continue to go up from here. Whether it’s through their EP’s and/or live performances, Alexander Jean effortlessly cast an infectious spell on listeners.
Text by Siri Svay
*Disclaimer: The words expressed in photo blog reviews do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Music Conn