The last time I saw James was 1992. Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA. They were opening for Squeeze, and I got to meet them afterwards as they were hanging out, looking for a cool place to go (we had no interest in Squeeze). Nothing like a little chit-chat with a band you admire. A similar thing happened last week at the Trocadero in Philly.
I got the the concert as the opening band, Unkle Bob, was playing. Good stuff actually, I had no expectations. Never heard of them. Anyhoo, they played and were gone, and soon James began. For those of you who don't know them, their big hit was LAID from many moons ago (it's in most teen movie previews). And yes, I named my teen movie Laid. Ok, anyway...
James played, and they were astonishing. They played all their gems. Sit Down. Sometimes. Born Of Frustration. Seven. Ring the Bells. Say Something........
I love it when a band breaks out a trumpet and violin, then invites the audience to sing the chorus of their tunes. On Sometimes, we all sang the ending chorus for about 5 minutes as the band just watched, smiling. Good stuff.
After the show I decided to check out the overpriced t-shirt section. I asked a dude how much the shirts were. $30 per t-shirt. Man, I used to balk at $20. But he mentioned that Unkle Bob shirts were only $20, and I told him I only had $15 (I truly did). He said they'd accept that. I figured they were an upstart band, and selling merch is a good way for them to make some cash so I gave him my last $15. And it turns out he was the lead singer of the band, out selling t-shirts.
We chatted for a few minutes, mostly small talk, he told me to find them on myspace & facebook.
Now, I understand they're not well known (they did apparently have a song on Grey's Anatomy last year) but sometimes you just can't beat seeing bands in a small venue, rubbing elbows with a possible future rock God.
"Sometimes.....I look in your eyes and see your soul."