I love both of James' albums, Undiscovered and Songs For You, Truths For Me. He has a deep, husky voice which I love and his songs are so catchy.
So after a LONG walk to Webster Hall from Penn Station, I waited in line with Claudia and Karissa, who got there early so we were at the very front of the line!
Yes, I was a line cutter kinda, but I had class until 3:20 and the train ride was over an hour!!
So we waited about an hour and then were let inside. The stage is actually on the 2nd floor of the building so we all had to wait at the bottom of the steps for like a half hour while a security guard didn't let us up. Then, he moved out the way and the stampede ensued. I was at the front of the stampede and RAN up the stairs and right to the front of the stage!
After about an hour, the opening act went on.
It was Anne Hathaway!!
Alright, it was actually Diane Birch, but doesn't she look like Anne Hathaway? When she finished her first song I yelled, "Yeah Anne!" but I don't think she heard me.
She was actually pretty good. I liked her set, though I often like people when I hear them live for the first time, then listen to their studio recordings and don't like them anymore. Haven't given her a second listen yet, but she was cool and her style matched James'.
Once she left, I leaned over and snatched her setlist. Maybe I don't know her that well, but I like having setlists, so now I have hers!
So after waiting about a half hour, James took the stage.
Before he came on, I predicted he would open with "The Only Night" and he did! I know him so well. It's like we're intrinsically bound.....
Here I am admiring him.
(Doesn't my neck look really long/weird?)
He sounded great live and sang a lot of my favorite songs.
Since we were so close, he kept walking over to us and we almost fainted each time.
Well actually we stuck our hands out hoping he would touch us. We didn't want to be creepy and grab his leg or something.
He did his most recent single, "Broken Strings" that he normally sings with Nelly Furtado. So he was like, "You guys might know of a duet I did with Nelly Furtado" and everyone cheered. Then he said, "Well.... here she is!" and pointed offstage and everyone screamed and then he laughed and was like "Just kidding." So he performed it with his backup singer who was pretty groovy.
James was spectacular live. If you haven't heard his music, GO LISTEN! And then see him live. He sounds great, has a great stage presence and has so much soul. Seeing the band bow at the end was bittersweet. I was so excited to have seen James, but wanted him to keep playing.
So after the show, James walked off and I saw the setlist on the stage... But I couldn't reach it like I reached Diane's setlist.
So I just kinda pushed myself up on the stage, grabbed the setlist, then was out of there cause Claudia was like, "The bouncer saw you!" But I got it!
Oh, and did I mention that when we were waiting in line, some girl came up and told us about a meet and greet with James? If you got his latest CD, you could meet him after the show so he could sign it!
So we waited and finally he emerged. Now for a sad story....
The first few people in the line got to take pictures with James. They just stood next to him (and held him!) and got their picture taken. Well this woman came out and started yelling that people couldn't take pictures with him anymore because it was taking too long. She said we could take pictures OF him, but not WITH him as they were on a tight schedule.
But since people had their cameras out, they just asked James if they could take a picture WITH him and since he is a sweetheart, he kept saying yes.
Well when the lady found out she flipped and then told everyone that if they had their cameras out, they would not be allowed to meet him. I gave Karissa my camera with the flash off and told her to sneak a picture. But the lady saw the camera out and told Karissa to put it away or leave.
So anyway, we finally got up to him. I handed the CD and we SHOOK HANDS and he said "Nice to meet you" and I said "Thanks." WHAT KIND OF RESPONSE IS THAT?! I was too starstruck. So then I fainted, got back up, and he asked me how to spell my name. Then he spelled it wrong but I don't care. He started writing a message and laughed and said, "I don't know what to write." I told him I didn't care or something. So then I took the CD back and said, "Thanks for sharing your music with us" and he seemed pretty pleased and said, "That's cool! That's real cool!" so I fainted again.
So then Claudia went up and asked for a hug!!! And he said "I'm all sweaty" and she said she didn't care. Why didn't I think of that?!
Anyway, before leaving, I snapped an illegal picture and RAN outta there because I knew the lady was gonna chase me and tackle me. So while I don't have any pics WITH him, here he is at the table, giving autographs.
It's a bad picture of him, but now I'll always remember the table and the candles and.... actually, it's not like I would ever forget this.
So we got on the subway to go back to Penn Station. Here are our CDs!
Then I got on the train home with a signed CD, a setlist, and fond memories of one of my favorite concert experiences ever.
Here's a video of James singing "You Give Me Something."