Author Topic: The solo tour ... out of the gate, it's frigging great  (Read 608 times)

diddy57

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The solo tour ... out of the gate, it's frigging great
« on: Nov 04, 2018, 02:18 AM »
I 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.

Hoptimus Prime

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Re: The solo tour ... out of the gate, it's frigging great
« Reply #1 on: Nov 05, 2018, 11:35 AM »
I 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.

Completely agree...  Would have loved it if the wagons were circled to complete Dondante, but I was blown away.  I was not very impressed with his last solo tour or his opening for Robert Plant at The Greek - but this show was on point.  Sound was great, song choice was awesome, and it got me a bit of a Jacket fix until we (hopefully) get some '19 tour news!
5/24/2003, and every damn time possible since!

cshum372

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Re: The solo tour ... out of the gate, it's frigging great
« Reply #2 on: Nov 05, 2018, 08:28 PM »


Wow- I am blown away by the setlist of the Oakland show. REALLY can't wait for the Port Chester show next week!!  Keep the surprises coming!! :beer:

Lonndown27

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Re: The solo tour ... out of the gate, it's frigging great
« Reply #3 on: Nov 17, 2018, 02:12 PM »
saw Jim in Salt Lake on my birthday, was feeling really sick but had to be there and forced myself there (even though my forehead wouldn't stop sweating and i was guzzling water and cough drops). Jim's voice immediately healed me. I felt no pain and no sickness throughout his show. IT was insane. I don't know if it's just psychological but Jim healed me. I wish he'd taken some more risks in the MMJ rarity department (when do I NOT say that? sorry for always saying it but I LOVE Those songs just as much, if not more than the A catalog)

from his voice, to his jokes, to the Muppets type voice he does, all of it felt like 2005 or 2004 to me....it was precious. It put my head in those years, where I was searching youtube daily for more unseens MMJ videos and unreleased shows and songs. It was beautiful. I wish more videos had come out from the show as it was kinda rowdy. There were some die hard fans there singing right in front of the stage and the bouncers made them move every time, kinda killed the vibe. But this guy, started singing the chorus of Throwback in the security guard's face and it was a beautiful moment where the guard and him laughed and hugged.

Jim was laughing and almost embarrassed they loved his songs this much.

Cannot wait to watch the rarities he played at the Cap on the youtube stream!
8/2/2012 + 10/07/2015 + 12/29/2017 + 12/30/2017 +    12/31/2017