First of all, I'm a volunteer at this particular con (surprise, surprise), and I spent the entire time before the show manning the front doors and keeping the lines in order while we waited for them to be opened for the concert. James was late because his flight was delayed in LA (according to what he said during the concert, they sat on the tarmac in LA for 2 1/2 hours, blech), but that really only delayed things by about half an hour. I was slightly worried because I had a gold ticket and I wanted to get a seat that I paid for, but as VioletSpike and I were going down the line, checking people in and giving them their wristbands, I got pulled for 2 minutes to go reserve my seat. I gave my reserve note to another volunteer who had the same pass as I did and asked her to seat me next to her before I got back to work.
Well, an hour later, I went in and discovered where she'd seated us. We were smack dab in the middle of the first row. I was literally 4 feet from James the entire night, well, except for when he stepped away from the microphone during his guitar licks. I was squeeing all the way until he walked in.
And then when he actually did. :)
James is looking *very* good. He was in his non-ripped jeans, black tee, and blue short-sleeved shirt that he wears over the tee, with his black trainers. Hair, not too short. Reasonably alert. First thing he asked was if there were kids in the house because he would watch his language. In spite of the fact that there were, and that he honestly tried, the language got more colorful as the night wore on.
I don't have a setlist. I'm sorry. I was too enraptured listening to him play. I also don't have pictures because, well, I was too enraptured listening to him play. He was in very good form during the first part of the set, the acoustic part. Then, the very first song during the electric part, he broke his A string. Snapped right across his hand. James wasn't thrilled, and left the stage for 5 minutes to get it fixed. However, he came back in high spirits and finished out the show. One song I do remember him playing was a new one called "Lou" about the woman who drove him and Steve Himber around the UK. He made a point of saying it was the first time he'd ever played it in public.
He did start losing it slightly vocally during the end of the show, but considering the various technical difficulties he had---he also couldn't get the electric to work without the sound guy's help, lol---it was certainly OK by me. And did I mention he looked good? :) About halfway through the show, I was sitting there squirming, wishing desperately that Craig was here for me to jump after the show was done. :)
I know I was critical of James' album, and you know what, I'm still not thrilled with listening to the CD. But the hypothesis I made then about maybe it was seeing him play was proved true tonight. James has *passion* for what he does. He's competent, and he has a lovely tone to his voice, but the important thing is he *loves* what he's doing and that comes across to his audience. This is James' gift. He connects to his audience. He connected to me. Well, maybe not in the way I *really* wanted him to, but, you get the idea.
And I met *so* many people today! elsaf! And I know there are more, but I don't know if they're even on LJ. But, Elsa! And so many old friends, like soulmate815 and vampgaia. I thought after the concert that the weekend could end now, and I'd be completely, 100% happy. It was *that* good. And did I mention how pretty he looked? See me be all superficial. ;)
Pretty, and charming, and in just such a good mood. Oh, and he decided after the response tonight that he *is* putting "Finer Than Gold" on the next album and that the album will likely be a lot more bluesy. You know, in case you were interested in the music. :)
Did I mention the pretty? :)