James Bay, the 25 year-old English singer songwriter, took to the stage at the Hollywood Palladium on December 1. Bay’s music is a mix of folk and indie rock with a little bit of soul. Throughout the entirety of the show, Bay showcased every side of his musical abilities from slow songs that had the crowd swaying with their arms around one another, to ones where the entire venue was jumping up and down.
Bay started his set off with a dramatic intro; a giant silhouette of his body was on the curtains when the music began to play and lights began to flash. After the curtain dropped, Bay showcased his ability to play guitar only to get the crowd excited for what was to come. Although Bay does have a band onstage with him, all eyes were on him as he played each and every chord on guitar with just as much emotion as he had in his voice.
After playing a few of his more upbeat songs, “Collide”, “Craving”, and “When We Were On Fire”, Bay then transitioned to “If You Ever Want To Be In Love”. This pattern of upbeat songs and then slow songs continued on throughout the night and at just the right time. Before Bay closed the show with his most popular song, “Hold Back the River”, he performed a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s hit song “Proud Mary”.
Bay is a special performer, he is one that has true talent and does not need a bunch of editing done in the studio. He has raw talent which became evident during the show. This was my first time seeing him live and I hope it was not my last.
If I had shut my eyes and forgotten that I was at a concert I would have believed that I was listening to his studio album, “Chaos and the Calm”, because his live performance was stellar. Pure talent. Every song was full of emotion and you could feel the passion he has for music resonating with every word he sung or chord he strummed.