Hang On to Your Ego…

14 Jul

In the last post I was meant to talk about the concert I experienced (attended isn’t a strong enough description here) last night, but I was distracted by my first James Blake dabbling. To the present, the past is the past!

Last night’s gig was at Webster Hall, a venue I’ve been mildly frightened of since middle school. On Z100, this was always the venue they advertised, directing foxy lady and fly fella traffic that-a-way. In my head it was this hip 20-something venue that would always be too happenin’ for me. But it was James Blake calling! Had to pick up that phone, it’s common courtesy.

Well, the venue wasn’t as scary as I imagined, it was pretty normal looking: a big open space, a stage, balconies, cramped sweaty people being cramped and sweaty. I do think it did attract a more annoying demographic, this girl behind me complained literally every two minutes (set my watch by her, who needs that navy clock when you’ve got Vocal Veronica?) about how she couldn’t see, how bored she was, how tired she was, blah blah blah. Girl, do not even try to cramp my style. It cannot be done. Product description: uncrampable, money back guarantee, and we already spent yo money so we’re darn sure you’re going to be satisfied.

Cheeky ol’ James, he was about 20 minutes late taking the stage, but he was probably just spending that time basking in his awesomeness. He’s only human. In the last post I mentioned how he layered the vocals of “Lindesfarne II” on top of each other, adding effects along the way. This time it was “I Never Learnt to Share” that got the special treatment. It was actually kind of amazing how entranced the crowd became during a few of the slower, more powerful songs. These rowdy youngsters who were only moments ago grooving and whooping became paralyzed and entranced, only to be shaken up and spun around in a blender during the next song (CMYK) when he turned up the beats to their highest setting and adding that classic dubstep spice- building up the beats until a huge swell of a pinnacle is reached, then dropping them to nothing taking the crowd’s breath away with the sound, and finally releasing all that tension in an even bigger jam. Though that’s what got everyone moving the most (I forgot to mention, at the May concert a few of his buds from across the pond were in the audience near me, and they were whooping and dancing like maniacs, they brought a lot of lively spirit to the masses), it’s the softer songs that got me.

Sometimes people get in a bit of a tizzy about this fella, there’s a lot of hype around him so of course there are the noble souls who consider him a Palm Beach diet: something way more popular than it should be, promising more than it can deliver, generally feeling bad for the saps who believe in this bologna. It’s just bologna, he ain’t no prime rib, say they. One person behind me, probably Veronica’s date, said that he was no good because he wasn’t even singing for some stretches, he was just contorting vocals. Well, yes, but he was the one who originally sang them. But don’t worry bud, it was a long time ago that he crooned ’em, probably 20+ seconds, and I know how long timeframes like that wreak havoc on goldfish.

What I’d love to hear someday is an album of James just singing without the dubstep cushion, just pure soul flowing through- more “A Case of You” vibes. I think that’d be the most beautiful. Petition to follow.

Currently listening to: CMYK by James Blake, bobbin’ my head to the beat as a good girl should

I hung around for a tick after the concert and was rewarded with the set list that they guys used! Paper that James probably even TOUCHED! Now I’m holding it! It’s like we’re holding hands, in a Sandra Bullock “The Lake House” kind of way…

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