Started by diddy57, Nov 04, 2018, 02:18 am
Quote from: diddy57 on Nov 04, 2018, 02:18 amI have to admit, I had some trepidation about a Jim James solo show with 100 percent sit-down seating. But I caught the second show of the fall tour last night at the Fox Theater in Oakland and it wasn't just good. It was extraordinary.Rotating a rack of a half-dozen guitars -- some acoustic, some electric -- Jim belted out two dozen songs in stellar, crystalline stripped down versions of both solo and MMJ songs with a few covers thrown in. The sound was incredible -- it appears he brought his own sound system and it was beautiful and brilliantly performed. JJ was in very good spirits, and in the spirit of the stripped-down theme, he played his entire set barefoot! And he was in what I term "Z" voice -- hitting all the high notes, and reveling in the howl.The best of Uniform Distortion was performed, and I have to say, probably more listenable and captivating than either his electric or acoustic recorded versions, as much as I like both records. No Secrets made the hair on my neck stand up. The Jacket stuff was incredible and varied -- A Day Is Coming, Bermuda Highway, I'm Amazed, The Way That He Sings, an abbreviated Dondante (absolutely awesome) and the best version of Big Decisions I've ever heard. Not everyone's favorite, but it's a rich song solo. Dave Givan provided understated percussion on about 8-10 songs, and he was completely on point with Jim's unpredictable improvisations within songs. Among the covers, Changing World and Rainbow Power were stunning highlights.Shame that there were a bunch of empty seats, even a few in the front row. If you have a chance to see a stop on this tour, don't walk to the ticket window ... run. This is Jim James at the top of his game, and it looks like he'll be breaking out different MMJ classics at every show. L.A. got Hillside Song, Wonderful, Hopefully and Steam Engine. Definitely happy with the ones he played in Oakland. I hope this show or one of these shows turns up on a live boot or at the Internet library. I've seen a bunch of MMJ shows, and this was something completely different but at the same time familiar because of the terrific song choices -- and Jim's astounding, upbeat one-man performance. I've never seen him more engaged and enthralling, and I saw all three MMJ shows at the Masonic a few years back. I also saw the MMJ show at the Fox on the Circuital tour. That was fantastic. This was better. Not a rock-out show, but we know those will be coming back at some point.Just a great, great show, probably the best I've seen this year out of about two dozen, and that's saying something because I've seen some really fabulous stuff. But this guy Jim James rules however he wants to play it.(FYI, the two-minute version of Dondante was posted on YouTube, albeit mislabeled as No Secrets. Look for it if you love that song).Complete setlist in the shows section, where this review probably should be. Ah well, sorry.