Julia Michales is the female songwriter of this decade. I’m sure you have listened to a lot of songs co-written by her. No matter which album I review her name shows up almost every time. But next to songwriting, Julia also has her own solo career going on since 2017. Especially lately with her Inner Monologue project part 1 and part 2. If you follow my blog for a longer time then you know that I have reviewed part 1 in February. And if you’re new to my blog you may want to check it out later. However, I really enjoyed part 1 and most of the songs in part 2 (17, Body, Hurting Again). Since I also love her older songs like Heaven and Jump, I had to see her live on tour. Fortunately enough she brought her headlining Inner Monologue Tour to Europe and on the 30th September to Zurich, Kaufleuten. Thanks to Mainlandmusic I had the chance to see this pop legend live.
The concert was on a Monday, after my three lectures at the university I headed over to the venue. The door opening was at 7 p.m. Even though I went on my own I met a Justin Jesso fan there, who I got to know a week ago. While waiting for the support act we talked about the changes in today’s pop music. The crowd consisted mostly of girls some of them came with their parents and others with their best friends.
Support Act: Rhys Lewis
At 8 p.m. the English young singer Rhys Lewis appeared on stage. Instead of a band, he had a pianist friend with him. Rhys started his set with the powerful ballad End Like This. Before he sang Living In The City, he told us the story behind it. He wrote this song when he moved from the countryside to London and was inspired by the loneliness, he felt in the beginning. With his powerful manly vocals and his sympathy, he managed to impress everyone in the building. He’s talent must be God-given. After two more songs it was time for Better Than Today. It’s my favorite ballad by him also the first song I discovered him with. Even though it’s a heavy dramatic piano ballad it’s also very uplifting because of its lyrics: “Let’s make tomorrow better than today”. While performing for half an hour Rhys mostly sang songs from his 2nd EP In Between Minds. Vocally he is a sensation, the way he stood and used his hands indicated that he probably had classical vocal training. In my opinion he didn’t even need any musical instruments to accompany him since he drowned them out with his powerful voice. He can just do it acapella. He has to work with a stylist since his stage outfit was too ordinary, he deserves to shine like a star. Before leaving the stage, he said that we can meet him at the merch stand after the concert.
Julia Michael’s Performance
Twenty minutes before the show a staff member set up a giant poster with the following rules.
Exactly at 9 p.m., the curtains opened and Julia’s lovely decorated stage appeared. Right after her band members she also went onstage in a very chic outfit and started the night with her upbeat track Pink from her debut EP Nervous System. Surprisingly, a lot of fans knew the words and she managed to make us all jump right from the start. She welcomed us and told us that it’s her first headline show in Zurich. With the next song, I Miss You a collaboration with Clean Bandit I was also able to sing along. I realized how much I actually love this song. For this track Julia’s band turned into a marching band with their drums and keytars. Therefore they all had a choreography together. After she performed two more songs from her debut EP it was time for the Fifty Shades of Grey series soundtrack Heaven, also one of my favorites. I was so lucky and could grab the guitar pick of the guitarist. This never happens to me but this time it fell right in front of my feed.
Then Julia left the stage and an audio was played, in which she explained that she never had the chance to go on tour with her debut EP, therefore she started with these songs and now she invites us to be part of her inner monologue. This transition made clear that it was time for the new music. She started the second set with Deep and Into You. When she saw that everyone was singing along, she told us a story. Once she was very nervous and shaking on stage while performing. A young girl from the first row told her “you got this” and sang every word with her, this made Julia feel very comfortable and since then she feels less excited when the crowd sings along.
Afterward, she left the stage once again, I wish it was for an outfit change. But instead her bandmembers tried to find out which side of the crowd is louder, right-side vs. left-side. To find a conclusion they made us clap a certain rhythm, which led to the next song Hurt Again. There was a fan project for Happy, most of the fans were holding a sheet with the words “Proud to be a little Gem”. Julia also made something very special at the end of the song. She asked us to open a way for her, so she can walk through the crowd. She performed the next songs in the middle of the audience, which was unbelievable and crazy. I was lucky again since her platform almost got placed right in front of me. Therefore, I could take some Beautiful pictures. She even asked us to get closer to her. She was so adorable and cute.
Julia then took her ukulele and covered a short version of F**k You by CeeLo Green followed by her song Apple. The atmosphere she created with this action was so incredible, all the girls around her were singing along and everyone tried to capture this moment with their smartphones. To end this highlight of the concert she performed her new track Falling For Boys.
Back on the stage, she sat down on giant boxes with her guitarist and bassist to perform the slow track Priest. The next song Anxiety was another special moment of the night since most of us can relate to it. She asked us to scream out the struggles we were holding back for years and also to hug the person next to us. While performing she stood up on her box and made us all raise our hands and sing along. Julia also admitted having struggled with depression and anxiety.
To end her set she performed Uh Huh, which is an energetic rock-pop party track. Then she said goodbye and left the stage. But everyone knew she would come back to perform the fan-favorite What A Time and her multi-platinum single Issues. During What A Time there was another fan project this time with the words “What A Time For Us”. In the middle of the song, Rhys Lewis appeared once again and they performed the song just like the original audio as a duet. It was so lovely to see them both together. During Issues Julia surprised us all with an unexpected shower of confetti. It was definitely a great way to end the night.
In total her performance last 80 minutes. I wasn’t satisfied since I really wanted her to perform the songs Jump, 17 and Body. Unfortunately, they weren’t part of her setlist on this tour. I wish she sang these songs instead of the tracks of her debut EP. A medley of some of the songs she co-wrote would also have been great. I was also disappointed because she didn’t have any outfit changes. Besides these points of criticism, it was an enjoyable concert with an incredibly intimate atmosphere. I can say that I had fun and it’s definitely an unforgettable night for her fans. While leaving I noticed a booth where fans could write messages on special designed pre-printed sheets, of course, I took some empty sheets home as a souvenir. Sadly, I also didn’t have time to wait and meet Rhys Lewis since I had to catch my train back home. I can definitely recommend you seeing both of these artists live on tour. Rhys and Julia are very talented and professional. To see more footage of the concert check out my Instagram. Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment your concert experience with her.
Julia Michaels: Inner Monologue Part 1 – EP Review
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