club D

I'm a 38-year-old gal, living in the Washington, DC area, who loves going to concerts of all kinds. My blog tracks most shows I attend. Hope you enjoy, and feel free to comment!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

James: What a Show!

James @ the 9:30 Club, Washington DC
September 18

Recommended Beverage:
Smithwicks from the upstairs bar

“Anybody know if there’s a curfew in this place?” asked James lead singer Tim Booth when they’d just about hit the two-hour mark of their show. He then noticed a guy in the crowd holding a napkin-sign that read, “Don’t Wait That Long,” a song from their 1992 album Seven that wasn’t on that evening’s setlist. The band happily obliged the request and then ended with another song from that album, the very danceable “Born of Frustration.”

What happened during this show was pure magic and a rarity at this venue. At first, just a few Brits were jumping up and down. One can spot them easily because they’re the ones truly enjoying themselves, a normal reaction to good music. But, soon, the whole crowd got truly into the show. From my excellent vantage point on the side balcony, I saw an entire floor jumping and singing for much of the show. Much of the credit goes to Booth, who had left the band for much of this decade but returned as frontman last year; he looked like he was having the best time himself and that excitement was contagious.

“I didn't recognize a lot of the songs but still thought they sounded fantastic,” said my buddy Bill (also a Booth, though unrelated to the singer) who also was at this show. “I was wondering if any of them could be new because they had that "old" early ’90s sound. Usually when bands take a hiatus, they can't recapture it but I thought the environment was electric and the show was phenomenal.”

James, a 7-piece band from Manchester UK that includes a trumpeter and keyboardist, played several songs from their new and 10th album, titled Hey Ma, songs which blended in well with their earlier sound. They of course belted out the hits, “Sit Down,” “Come Home,” and “Laid,” the latter having been an anthem in every college dorm room in the early ’90s. The band also played much of the Laid album, including one ballad they’d never performed live, as Booth said he figured that was the material with which this [an American] audience would be most familiar. A highlight was “Say Something,” from that album, which Booth sang while standing on a ledge by foot of the crowd, supported by a fan (and a club staffer).

This show exceeded all expectations. I believe I speak for much of the crowd when saying we left elated and musically fulfilled.


  • At 4:10 PM, Blogger Jon said…

    Doh! How did we miss you there? It was an amazing show though. Glad you loved it too!


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