James Blake - An Album and Live Show Review :
By : Maria Perez
I had never seen James Blake, and quite honestly, I had never heard a song by him until about a month ago. At 2am, on a random Friday night, I saw someone on Facebook post a song by him featuring Bon Iver who, after Kurt Vonnegut, I consider a creative God.
The song was I Need a Forest Fire off of James Blake's new album, The Colour of Anything was the first song I had ever heard by him. This song... was game changing. It's rare you come across music that sends such a strong signal to your brain making it not want, but NEED more.
For the next month I binge-listened to The Colour of Anything, while walking to work, while at work, while driving, while in bed, (even as I write this now) over and over until I knew even the strange ooh's he does (and there are many) by heart.
Karma works in mysterious ways and as luck would have it a friend was to get me free VIP tickets at Webster Hall... VIP...
Being the nerd that I am, got there just as soon as doors opened, being fashionably late for this show was not going to be an option.
Now, I have been to my fair share of live shows but this was a totally different experience. Maybe it was because I was sitting pretty on the railing of the balcony surrounded by industry people dripping in black leather. Maybe it was because I felt so emotionally connect to the artist in a personal way. Whatever it was, it felt much more intimate than any show I have ever been to.
His performance wasn't just another set in another city. It was him wanting to actually share his art. I know "art", even I feel cheesy saying that, but there is just no other way to explain what this music is. This was a full band, digitally producing music as they went, each playing different instruments at a different pace. They delivered not just a live show but delivered a full on production.
From my favorite songs off the new album, to old ones I had never heard, the bartender who served me the most over priced beer was right, "people say James Blake has made people cry live"... I believe it.
If you want to see anything remotely like what we saw at Webster Hall here is an old show in DC : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4qfT2dxU6E