Concert Review: James Blake – “Fox Theater, Oakland – 10/17/16″

Image Credit: Kelly J. Owen | The Young Folks

Image Credit: Kelly J. Owen | The Young Folks

If you have a case of FOMO because of last month’s Treasure Island Music Festival in San Francisco which caught quite a few people’s attention due to the severe weather, The Young Folks has got you covered here. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the festival myself but just looking at posts via Twitter and Instagram, it sure seemed interesting! Luckily, I was able to attend James Blake show at the Fox Theater in Oakland the following Monday due to his cancelled set.

I didn’t brave the weather unlike the massive line that was anxiously waiting outside the venue to get in. Supposedly, anyone who had a ticket to Sunday’s show was eligible to attend Monday night’s show and they were accepting people to purchase tickets to it as well. I was kind of nervous myself thinking there’s no way in hell I’d be able to get inside. It was first come, first serve! The line was literally wrapped around the venue and I’ve never seen that before for a show. Good news, I was able to enter without any problems!

James didn’t hit the stage until about 9:20pm but opening for him was the DJ Airhead. Never heard of him before but he kept the crowd going up until James came on. To be quite honest, for some reason I had James Blake and James Bay completely flipped in my mind. I don’t know what I was thinking. Either way, I had time to get familiar with Blake’s music earlier in the day and I was into it.

The lower floor section was jampacked with eager fans ready for this show. I overheard so many conversations go something along the lines of, “I waited all day for him and then I found out he was cancelled” to “I’m so glad he did another show!” Despite all the downfalls from the weekend, this show surely lifted a few spirits. Funny thing was, all the ugly weather was gone by Monday morning.


Image Credit: Kelly J. Owen | The Young Folks

James’ setup was visually pleasing with three smaller stages lined up alongside each other with neon lights shining from up above. The opening track? “Always” followed by “Life Round Here.” The audience was glued and concentrated on James, no doubt. You can hear literally everything crystal clear rather than the crowd singing along. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better intimate setup. It was just so beautiful. It was so soulful and man, did he know how to command the stage without even getting up from playing his instruments.

Granted, James Blake music isn’t the type of music where you jump up and down crazy like at an EDM concert. As much as I hate to put a title on what type of music he does own, I’d say it’s a mixture of electronic meets dubstep meets How To Dress Well. Probably not the best description but look, it’s chill. It doesn’t make you need to headbang everytime the beat drops. And, it’s the type of music you just want to sit back and relax to. It was the perfect way to close out what was a pretty intense weekend for all festivalgoers.

Ash is a teenager trapped in a twenty-three year old body. She owes everything she's learned to Lizzie McGuire, Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Unfabulous. She's a pop culture fanatic so yeah, she tend to pray to the entertainment lords begging for MTV to finally hire her. When she's not updating her dog with her life stories, she tweets some pretty cool things from time to time.