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posted Friday, May 6, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 19
James Bay is superb at The Showbox SoDo
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James Bay is superb at The Showbox SoDo

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

photo: Credit Cissy Ding http://cissydingphoto.com/

JAMES BAY
THE SHOWBOX SODO
April 28


When James Bay released 'Let It Go,' it was the kind of song that stopped people in their tracks. If they were at a grocery store, a coffee shop, or a bank lobby, they took notice. That soulful voice gliding beautifully over a gentle guitar background was infectious, to say the least.

Fortunately, there was more to come. His debut album Chaos and the Calm produced five hit singles, certified double-platinum in Bay's native U.K. with nearly 650,000 copies sold and reached #15 on the U.S. charts. And last December, the 25 year-old earned three Grammy nominations, including a nod for Best New Artist.

Sold out concerts are usual occurrences on the English musician's schedule these days, including an April 28 performance at The Showbox SoDo that filled the room from wall to wall. Bay's set opened with 'Collide,' as the 6-foot tall singer-songwriter crooned and played a red electric guitar dressed entirely in black - jeans, tee-shirt, fedora hat, boots. He then performed 'Craving' and 'When We Were on Fire'; the latter number got the audience clapping their hands over their heads.

'Are you good for singing loud tonight?' Bay asked the crowd. This led into a huge sing-along of 'If You Ever Want to Be in Love' against a violet hued background. The lighting changed to a series of orange laser beams for 'Need the Sun to Break.'

Fans didn't have to wait long for 'Let It Go,' which featured a guitar solo intro and quiet drum rattle at the beginning. It was a gorgeous rendition worth half the ticket price alone. For kicks, Bay played a brief instrumental solo version of Elvis Presley's 'Can't Help Falling in Love.' A fiery run-through of 'Get Out While You Can' capped the main set, as fans again clapped their hands together high above their heads, or bounced energetically up and down.

A three-song encore included a cover of The Band's 'Look Out Cleveland' with supporting act Joseph, an all-female folkish trio based in Portland. 'Incomplete' was also performed in this extra portion of the show, as was the night's closing number, perhaps a song many came to hear specifically, an upbeat, sweet delivery of 'Hold Back the River.' It was the perfect finale for an overall memorable concert.

In February, Bay was honored with the Brit Award for Best British Male Solo Artist, a category in which he beat out four global electronic performers, Aphex Twin, Mark Ronson, Calvin Harris and Jamie xx. He'll spend the summer months touring in Europe and Asia, before returning stateside in the fall for a few dates in the Southwest. You can follow him at @JamesBayMusic on Twitter or @jamesbaymusic on Instagram.

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JAMES BAY
THE SHOWBOX SODO
April 28


When James Bay released 'Let It Go,' it was the kind of song that stopped people in their tracks. If they were at a g" /> Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

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JAMES BAY
THE SHOWBOX SODO
April 28


When James Bay released 'Let It Go,' it was the kind of song that stopped people in their tracks. If they were at a grocery store, a coffee shop, or a bank lobby, they took notice. That soulfu" target="blank">    Share on Delicious

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