On Oct. 3, soul singer James Blake sang his heart out and stunned crowds of adoring fans at The Chicago Theatre. Blake performed some of his newest singles on what he has called, “The Friends That Break Your Heart Tour.” The songs ranging from slow love ballads to dance/electronic garnered a reaction from the audience with many people either dancing or crying.
Blake’s concert also featured a futuristic light show and pulse vibrations that ran throughout the theater. It was cool to listen to the music, but even better to watch his art in action.
He was accompanied by guitar player Rob McAndrews and drummer Ben Assiter. Together, they all took the crowd to what felt like space. The event was a transcendental experience, how I would imagine a ride on an alien spaceship would go.
Blake is a soul singer, songwriter, producer and Grammy-nominated artist hailing from the UK. His artistry teeters between the line of indie and mainstream, but his music is still just as fresh as ever, especially compared to what’s out today. His more popular songs being “Retrograde” and ”’King’s Dead’s” is what drew people to his sound, but the weird but refreshing blend of folk, electronica and soul is what kept them around.
It was amazing to see people actually come out and it was exciting to see a true talent take the stage. There were no gimmicks or stunts and to be frank, none of that was needed. The soft, mellow tone of Blake’s voice was enough to stun audiences, as well as myself, into silence. The concert was a fun event to go to and a nice break from the crazy world of deadlines, homework and midterms.
The full album is yet to be released, but this concert allowed fans and any new listeners of his to build excitement for what is to come. Blake gave the crowd a smidge of what he’s been up to and performed tracks called, “Life Is Not the Same” and “Famous Last Words.” If that wasn’t enough anticipation, the album is said to feature a myriad of well-known artists including SZA, JID and Monica Martin.
If you don’t believe me, that’s fine. Find out for yourself if you like James Blake,the singer who can pretty much do it all. Now if that’s your style, I would recommend taking a listen — who knows, you might be at his next concert.
Photo Credit: Lauren Harris