Friday, May 17, 2013

James Blake @ Terminal 5 (5.9.2013)

Overgrown, James Blake's highly anticipated sophomore album, was released on April 8th.  We saw him debut some of the material from the new album last December at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.  All but one of the new songs he played that night are featured on Overgrown ("Every Day I Ran" is now a bonus track).  It is no surprise that James Blake has gained a considerable amount of new fans over the last few years, especially after touring the United States.  The last two times we saw him, he performed at small and intimate venues.  Last week, however, James Blake sold out two shows at Terminal 5.
          The first thing to catch my eye when James Blake began his performance that evening was the stage design. Though minimal, James Blake's set up of circular light fixtures, smoke, and other colorful devices was a really nice change from ordinary house lights. At certain points in the show, the drums appeared to trigger the brightness and color of the circular light fixtures behind the band which made for some really neat visual moments.

          James Blake's set included a number of songs from Overgrown, his self-titled album, and various EP/single releases.  "Digital Lion" and "Voyeur," tracks I felt lukewarm about upon first listen, were insanely good live.  The crowd (as well as the band) seemed to really enjoy the bass driven, trance vibes of each song in their live setting.  "I Am Sold" (a song that was not played live before Overgrown's release) was a pleasant surprise that night as well.  James Blake also reworked several old favorites.  The live "Limit To Your Love" has always included an extended jam section but the version he played at this show was a bit more mellow and drawn out, which gave the song a bit of a darker feel towards the end.  My favorite song of the night was the mashup of "Unluck" and "Love What Happened Here." Though "Unluck" was the foundation of the mashup,  Rob McAndrews triggered "Love What Happened Here" vocal samples throughout the song and Ben Assiter's drum beat matched the faster paced one from "Love..."

We recorded the show from the right balcony.  The sound was quite good from out location but unfortunately the crowd around us was a bit chatty throughout the night. The music drowned out much of their talking in the recording but some instances are still audible.  Despite this minor annoyance, the recording came out great. Enjoy!

Download the recording HERE (password= two sails)

Set List:
1. Air & Lack Thereof
2. I Never Learnt To Share
3. [banter]
4. To The Last
5. Lindisfarne
6. I Am Sold
8. Our Love Comes Back
9. Digital Lion
10. Unluck/ Love What Happened Here
11. Limit To Your Love
12. [banter]
13. Klavierwerke
14. Overgrown
15. [banter]
16. Voyeur 
17. [banter]
18. Retrograde
19. [encore]
20. The Wilhelm Scream
21. A Case Of You

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