While standing in the middle of the Hollywood Palladium, waiting for the sold out James Bay concert to begin, I couldn’t help but be filled with excited anticipation. I was surrounded by a younger audience, but as I scanned the upper tier of the venue I noticed that the crowd was not specific to one type. This would be my second time seeing James Bay live and I couldn’t wait for the show to start. Being that this was my second time seeing him, I had my expectations but the moment he stepped on stage he blew all expectations out of the water.
He kicked off the show with “Collide”, a high energy song that made me forget all about the fact that my feet hurt and that I was running on 4 hours of sleep. He continued with “Craving” and “When We Were On Fire”, making sure to point out that he was about to take us for a musical ride. He wanted to start up high, slow it down, and bring it back up again. He encouraged the audience participation when singing his hit “If You Ever Want To Be In Love”. While making us feel all the feels when he sang “Let It Go” and “Scars”.
The first time I saw James Bay live he was amazing but he seemed to hold back on stage, he moved through the songs quickly and only just scanned the venue as opposed to connecting with the fans. (STILL AN AMAZING SHOW THOUGH!) This time around was completely different because he took his time with everything; each lyric, each guitar solo, each pause between songs, each time he made eye contact with a fan. He looked completely at home on that stage and he made me feel like I didn’t want his concert to end.
Though he did still move through the songs very quickly, it wasn’t because of a lack of connection with the audience. The beautiful thing about James Bay is that he doesn’t need to tell you a long-winded story about what each song is about, because you can gather the information from the emotion he puts into every song. His comfort zone is definitely when he is standing on stage holding a guitar and his vocals shine when he is able to improvise a bit. All in all the show was a complete blast and I found myself continuously turning to my friend and screaming, “he’s amazing”.
That seemed to be to common statement within the crowd, everyone was left in awe at the end of the night. “Did we really just witness that?” “Were we really lucky enough to be here to experience this together?” Sure, in terms of experience James Bay is brand-spanking-new but I guarantee you, he will be a force to be reckoned with in a few years’ time. Los Angeles was his last stop on his tour (weren’t we absolutely lucky?) but I encourage you to go buy his album The Chaos and the Calm, you will not be disappointed.
What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?
**You can find more pictures & videos of the show on my Instagram: @juliexplores**
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