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James Blake at Music Hall of Williamsburg

Photos by Elisabeth Vitale for Pitchfork

James Blake’s warbling voice is some sort of soul reaper because I simply could have died during last night’s show. Held at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Blake’s first US venue was smaller than I expected, the space seemingly braced by its sold-out throng. As with his debut album, Blake opened with Unluck, and in a few short seconds established that a.) translating the idiosyncrasies and minitiua found in said album would be no problem whatsoever and b.) it would be even better. When the bass was allowed to surge out of the Funktion One rig, you felt it to your core, transforming what was once relegated to the aural realm of my shitty Apple earphones to a completely physical and (dare I say) raw experience. The crowd loved it.

Though behind the commanding audio, Blake sat in an air of modesty, speaking only to express his gratitude. His movements were limited to a bob of the head a hand up to his face to adjust his bangs. Up in the balcony tables sat Bjork along with Antony Hegarty and members of the Dirty Projectors. If the crowd’s flattery wasn’t enough, their presence surely must have made him blush.

James Blake – Half Heat Full (Old Circular)

As much as it irks me to say it, believe me when I say that you had to be there. The live footage crawling out of YouTube do it absolutely no justice with most of the critical and enjoyable moments being destroyed by the venue-shaking bass.

Related posts:
  1. James Blake – The Wilhelm Scream
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