Say Something / Waltzing Along / Laid / Vervaceous / English Beefcake / Sometimes / Señorita / Junkie / God Only Knows / Born of Frustration / Getting Away With It / Space / Out To Get You / Ring The Bells
Protect Me (acoustic) / Come Home / Sit Down / Sound
review by Daisy
It’s too hard to write about my last James concert. It was an unique experience, but for extremely sad reasons. For me it was the last James concert, as well as for many other people who were standing in that venue. There were 5000 people, and it sold out a long time ago, which probably means something. Also, the sellers requested 10000 tickets, which probably means that at least other 5000 people must have been really disappointed that they couldn’t see James performing “as it is” for what will probably be their last concert in Portugal.
I shouldn’t really say anything about the supporting act, but I’m going to. They have a popular song, which is played on the radio a lot, but I hate it, and always switch station when they play it. Honestly, they’re not bad, but they were not the ones the people wanted to see, and you could sense that. Some people tried to enjoy them, but what we were anxiously waiting for was for these special seven musicians. And when they came, the crowd went wild. The beginning of the concert was different from previous concerts I had been in. There was no smokey entrance, with Tim and the guys coming up from nowhere, no. They came in the stage when the lights were on, and there was even some background music playing. They were looking at the crowd that was cheering them, each of them looking amazed and also slightly sad. I was crying even before they started singing, it was too much for me to know that this would be the last time I would be able to see my favourite band ever.
Then Tim asked someone to cut off the music, so they could start performing. The first song we heard was Say Something. The people were singing along almost each and every single song, maybe except for the beginning of Space and God Only Knows – but they sang the chorus.
I wasn’t expecting them not to play Johnny Yen or Top Of The World, but also I wasn’t expecting them to play God Only Knows and Protect Me, as well as so many songs from Pleased To Meet You. The so discussed backing vocals of Señorita sounded absolutely brilliant live, I don’t think there was a single flaw in that song, it sounded perfect. In God Only Knows Tim was improvising lyrics, as well as in Born of Frustration. Actually, in BoF he was singing “power is not to be afraid of” instead of “fear is not to be afraid of”. It made me think whether James are afraid of the power they have. Having a full house, with people singing their songs, waving their arms in slower songs and clapping hands (which I consider a way of expressing how much people like a song – kind of like singing along when you don’t know the lyrics or when there are no lyrics), and also wearing “their” t-shirts is somehow a power that they have. When they played Protect Me (right after a short break, during which the crowd was yelling for more) Tim stated they hadn’t played that song in 10 years (after he had said “you knew we were coming back”). I was feeling blessed for being so lucky to hear one of my favourite James tracks – and in acoustic version, as I love it!
I had to feel again blessed for hearing Sit Down (“we have to play this one for you”, Tim stated) one last time, with everybody singing it and dancing along. It didn’t end the way I expected it to, and Tim was looking at the crowd, maybe defying us, going one step further than we were expecting him to. That man never ceases to amaze me.
Sound was absolutely fantastic. The band was improvising (I especially liked Saul and Jim playing together), the crowd was going wild with Tim’s dancing and we couldn’t figure out when was that going to end (I think the song went on for at least 10 minutes!).
The band was different that night. It wasn’t the same James I had seen last year in Porto, and then in Lisbon. The first person that I noticed was acting totally different was Michael Kulas. That usually happy person, who I used to quote for being so happy and energetic was looking a bit down, keeping a low profile (he wasn’t even cheering the crowd as he usually does). Me and my sister were yelling his name again which caused him to feel a bit embarrassed (he sure acted like it, at least!), but he threw his towel at us in the end which was really cool. (My sister also claims that he waved her back)
Tim was dancing in all the songs, and he was very cheered for that. People really love to see him dancing. He seemed to be happy, but also amazed. There were times when he just would stop and look through the entire audience, looking amazed that so many people were there to see him and were enjoying the show. Actually I also caught Michael and Adrian looking around in that same amazement during the show.
There’s something about Adrian that I have to say. He was never one of my favourite James members, but yesterday he impressed me in a very positive way. For the first time he looked really like he was “James”, if you get my point. I loved to see him up there, playing, enjoying himself, and also looking a bit sad for all that is about to end. One of his highlights was one time when Tim was kind of singing “to him”, and Adrian was playing along. I feel sorry that my sister and me didn’t yell Adrian’s name too.
I was impressed by the choice of songs (even though I missed Just Like Fred Astaire). If you look at the set list and think about the lyrics you might even feel that there was a meaning in it ;-). For instance “this is not the end – a new beginning” it’s what I’m hoping for. The way Tim singed “you’re only in my head you don’t exist” “you’re all an illusion” “don’t treat me like a god, treat me like a dog” was impressive. I’d like to tell him some of his own words: “power is not to be afraid of”.
There were two flaws from the band though. One was when Tim thought they were going to play Destiny Calling and they were going to play Ring The Bells instead – Dave and the others were pointing at him saying he was the one who was wrong and someone from the crowd yelled “you can do it” ;-), so they started over. This was even funny, from my point of view. The other time it was a technical problem, when Tim was starting to sing “Sit Down” and he had to start over because he couldn’t hear anything. Then the people were getting a bit nervous, maybe because they feared he wouldn’t start again! 🙂
All good things must come to and end (and also the bad ones, which is the good news). I remember one of the lines Tim said during the show (about halfway), it was “the party is still coming” or something like that. I don’t know about the party though. This show was a celebration of James, and everybody enjoyed it. For me, it was the most emotional concert I had ever been to, and also the only concert I have ever cried in! I couldn’t help it, it’s hard to say goodbye to something you love so much, and it’s even harder to look at those fabulous seven musicians and knowing that this will be the last time I’m going to see them, at least together. Everybody was enjoying the music, people sang along most of the time, there were lots of people clapping hands or waving their arms, dancing or jumping around, excited and amazed. I hope that James felt what we feel for them – we love them, we love their music, we think they’re absolutely brilliant, and also that we’re going to miss them. There was a point when Tim stated that this was the last time that James as they are at the moment were playing Portugal, and there was a disappointment clamour in the room. I got the impression that many of the people didn’t know that already. When the concert ended, the general feeling was something I had never experienced before. It looked like a funeral. Everybody was really sad… I felt completely miserable.
Anyway Thank you – Obrigado James!