Sunday, September 21, 2008
If you are familiar with James’ Born of Frustration, then you know how those first few haunting notes will get stuck in your head and stay there. For sixteen years, if you’re at all like me.
On Thursday, my best blokes, Jerry & Rick, joined me at Nightclub 9:30 to finally see one of my longtime favorite bands live. We were not disillusioned! While we all thought it would probably be a pretty good show, we had no idea that we would be completely blown away!
Firstly, 9:30 Club is the only place to see a live show, in my opinion! I love the intimate setting, the accessibility of alcohol, the unpretentious crowd, and the impressively clean bathrooms. This was the first show I had the pleasure of viewing from the balcony, and it was absolutely perfect!
The opening act was Unkle Bob, from Glasgow. These adorable (and incredibly talented) boys discreetly took the stage and said to the sold-out crowd, “Hallo, we’re Unkle Bob.” He said it so matter-of-fact and sweetly that it sounded like much like it would sound if you casually passed the antichrist on the street and said, with an acknowledging nod, “Beelzebub.”
James could not have asked for a better supporting act. Unkle Bob were nothing short of amazing and we were all instantly smitten with these adorable youngsters.
Then came James.
I knew the lead singer was a freak show, but he did not disappoint! This is a terribly energetic and interestingly poetic bit of theatricality. There’s a lot going on with this band! Of the seven members and thrice as many instruments, I was especially impressed with the little pixie adorning the stage. He had amazing sprightliness, playing every instrument from guitars twice his size, the violin (with a little Rumpelstiltskin thing going on), the drums ... you name it! All with more energy than I can ever remember possessing.
The last song was Laid, of course, and the crowd went nuts! Although the new music is amazing and equally as infectious as the earlier stuff, everyone loves Laid. The crowd was dancing and laughing and, as I looked across the varied faces below me, everyone looked genuinely happy!
James played two encores, with the last song - the one that is still playing over and over in my head - being Born of Frustration. By that point, I was high-fiving the gaseous stranger next to me feeling more mirthful than I’ve felt in a very, very long time....
Brava, James, Brava!