Jai Wolf guided everyone through the depths of the human experience during his Blue Babu tour stop at the Brooklyn Mirage.
In 2016, you couldn’t escape Jai Wolf and his hit track, “Indian Summer.” Nearly every travel vlog featured the sunny, free-spirited anthem, and it quickly became the go-to song for every wedding and road trip. His time-tested number, however, is just one of the many diverse sounds that fill up his discography. From his early dubstep days (“Ease My Mind” remix) to his more indie-flavored tunes (“Lose My Mind”), the 31-year-old producer does not confine himself to one genre; rather, he creates music to his liking. Therefore, it was no surprise that when he concluded his The Cure To Loneliness era late last year, he told us in November that his next chapter would feel “very energetic.”
But before he officially launched his new Blue Babu era in March, the New York-based producer teased his next chapter with this message: “It’s time to exit the loop.” That cryptic sentence on his social media puzzled me. What could he be referring to? Was there a Tweet or post that I missed? The answer, however, would later be found in his latest singles.
His four new songs so far feature a vocal-focused style with a swift tempo. Each song deals with a particular subject, such as love, letting go of the past, and overthinking, which is a part of the universal human experience. But was this his way of helping us, the listeners, exit these particular loops we create in our heads? I decided to visit the Brooklyn Mirage to investigate further.
The Blue Babu tour’s Brooklyn stop featured three unique Jai Wolf sets. An opening DJ set, the Blue Babu live show, and a Club Babu DJ performance to cap the night. Right before the live show, the open-air venue was shrouded in royal blue lighting while early-2000s rock hits warmed the crowd.
“All the Small Things” by Blink-182, “Ocean Avenue” by Yellowcard, and “Beverly Hills” by Weezer quickly turned the venue into a karaoke bar. The air smelled of nostalgia, which I’m sure was done intentionally because reminiscing about the past is one of the first things we tend to do when experiencing hard times.
The hometown hero returns with a commanding stage presence.
At the start of the show, a message from Hikikomori Inc. (a fictional company) asked the crowd if they were interested in participating in a study that would free them from sedation, addiction, and dissociation, which confirmed my prediction of the meanings behind Jai Wolf’s latest singles. But soon, the real start of the show happened when the wide screen displayed an hourglass in outer space. The item, acting like a signal, flashed on every downbeat until it shattered, creating a circular portal where the hometown hero appeared to greet the crowd.
Jai Wolf commanded the venue with his confident stage presence from the beginning of his set. From a darker version of “Telepathy” to the crowd-favorite “Moonrider” to kinetic IDs, he was always moving on his feet, using the small space he had to engage with the fans.
Aside from his stage presence, one of the main highlights of the night was the synergy between the music and the visuals. Many of the visuals featured an AI makeover that transported the audience into futuristic and nostalgic worlds that mirrored the music’s emotional resonance. The synchronization of lights, colors, and patterns enhanced the Brooklyn Mirage’s immersive experience, creating a unity between Jai Wolf and the audience. And it’s this unity that made the Blue Babu experience stand out from his past tours.
The key(s) to exit the loop.
While his previous tours focused on adventure (Kindred Spirits) and solitude (The Cure To Loneliness), Jai Wolf’s Blue Babu tour creates an experience full of vulnerability. Nearly every song displayed lyrics on the screen, encouraging the crowd to sing along to old and new favorites, including his latest releases, like the emotional “Want It All” number or the song-of-the-year candidate “If I Don’t Look Down.” The carefully curated setlist allowed the audience to explore a spectrum of moods, from euphoric highs to introspective lows.
But before he closed the live show with his 2016 breakthrough hit, he revealed that “Babu” is what his mother and father call him, providing clarity on the tour’s name. It’s here that we saw the hometown hero in a heartfelt state, saying, “I feel like all this music that I’ve been putting out feels like the real me.” It’s this genuine interaction from Jai Wolf that elevated the night. His gratitude for the audience’s support and his humble anecdotes about the inspirations behind his latest music created an intimate connection that made the show feel personal. It’s his vulnerability that left the crowd with the melodies and memories that are essential to exit the loop.