If I’ll be completely honest, this is a day I’ve been waiting for since the show was rescheduled in October. I’ve been an avid fan of James Bay for quite some time, so knowing that the day of the show was finally here I couldn’t wait for the work day to end. After arriving at the State Theatre, I found my seat and waited about 15 minutes for the show to begin. Noah Kahan started the night at 8 p.m., opening with “Passenger”. About 5 to 10 minutes into his set, Kahan stated something along the lines of, “I used to play James Bay songs at Open Mic Night. My mom would always come with me, and even if it was just the two of us and the MC I would just sing. And now I’m here, opening for the man himself.” If that isn’t an incredible thing, I’m not sure what is. His statement not only got a laugh out of me, but it also gave me chills. After a lot of hard work and dedication he’s doing something he loves full heartedly; in the company of an individual he looks up to. I also found inspiration in this last night because it shows that if you continue working on something you believe in as hard as you can; you’ll surprise yourself even when the road gets rough. Kahan continued his set with “False Confidence”, “Carlos’ Song”, “Mess”, and “Hurt Somebody”. Prior to beginning each song, he provided fans with a brief description about each song. He ended his set around 8:30 p.m., closing with “Young Blood” that was released in 2017.
The State Theatre was an amazing venue for this show as far as the lights and sound go, but I was a little bummed that there was seating. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally fine with standing at a show and I expect to do just that, but for me, I was looking forward to relaxing and watching the incredible talent on stage. When “Wild Love” began fans went crazy, as did I, and it was fun watching the light show taking place throughout. Next Bay played his recently released single “Peer Pressure” featuring Julia Michaels, “Us”, and “Fade Out”. The lights during “Fade Out” were something I made sure to take note of, as there were no spotlights on any of the bandmembers making each of them appear as merely a shadow. I thought this small detail went well with the song and made the evening that much more memorable. At this point the evening was swayed from the new album to his first album, “Chaos and the Calm” which was originally released in 2014. I really enjoyed that Bay chose to include a mix of both old and new songs, but he did mention how difficult it was to pick and choose. He kicked off the old album tunes with “Let It Go”, “When We Were on Fire”, and “Move Together”. I loved watching the musical talent taking place on stage while each band member, Bay included, enjoyed a solo on each of their instruments. Before exiting stage, the main set ended with “Get Out While You Can” and “Best Fake Smile”.
Soon, Bay came back onto stage by himself, and revisited the fact that he rescheduled his October show for Minneapolis. He told fans that he wanted to do something special to make up for it and share a song he’d been working on throughout this whole time. I felt that this moment displayed a real, raw individual that really cares about his fans as well as his artistic capabilities. The song Bay played was called “Bad”, and it was absolutely incredible as well as fully acoustic. It was really enjoyable to hear his vocals alone, and it made me appreciate him that much more. For the remainder of the encore a cover of The Beatles’ “Come Together” was played as well as “Hold Back the River”. If I do say so myself, both were amazing, but I loved seeing him get into The Beatles and it seemed like the rest of the venue did as well. It’s been a long time coming, but I finally got the opportunity to see this concert. Quite honestly, I wouldn’t trade it for the world and it’s definitely one of my tops for this year. An (already often) listening of James Bay will increase from here.