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Chasing The American Dream

May 12, 2006


photo courtesty of Alex Hung

I was frantic as usual the day of the concert. I told myself long ago to stop buying two tickets. I’ve been good; for the past six months or so, I’ve only bought one ticket for the last four concert events. But I thought THIS time would be different. Wrong-o. On my way to the concert, I received my seventh and last “no thanks.” I know, I know; you’re sitting there asking me why didn’t White Hot woman go with me. Well, therein lies the problem, but that’s for another post…

I looked around the packed Hard Rock venue and people watched. Not a lot of single guys in the crowd. Not a lot of empty seats either. There was one next to me and I was ruing that fact, sort of feeling sorry for myself. Finally, the lights dimmed and the stage dude said something like, “From Denver, Colorado, give it up for The Fray. Oh my god, that stunned me and put the biggest smile on my face. I had no clue my new favorite band would be playing and I quickly forgot about that empty seat next to me.

The Fray opened with the CD-titled “How to Save a Life” and closed with “Over My Head,” they’re two most popular songs. If you’ve never heard their sound, they are piano and guitar-driven accompanied by the smooth vocals of Isaac Slade. Their songs range from rock to ballad. Similar to Coldplay but not quite, I guess you could say. The boys sounded great and they played with a lot of energy. Slade’s piano playing made for a nice defining touch. It’s nice to see that not all bands these days are solely guitar-based. Trust me, these guys are gonna make it big.

By the time James Blunt hit the stage, the crowd was pretty restless. They were tiring fast of the stage guy constantly saying, “Make some noise, make some noise.” I was thinking, Dude, bring on James Blunt already, and you’ll hear some noise for cryin’ out loud. The dude said the concert was being played live over some PBS Special. The stage dude got his wish when James entered the small Hard Rock Live arena. Immediate frenzy ensued.

I was really curious to hear if he could match that incredible falsetto voice in a live setting. I had to wait a bit because he opened with more the rock-driven songs “Breathe” and “Billy.” I got my answer when James sang his next song, “High.” Wow, was it great. He hit all the high notes perfectly, and the song was sung as crystal clear as it was on the CD. The crowd went bananas.

The second thing I wondered about was whether he talked the same way as he sang. Haven’t you noticed that often times, singers speak and sound little like how they sing? I dunno, I guess Neil Young and Steve Perry come to mind as guys who have high singing voices but not so much their speaking voices. For you oldie rockers, I guess the same could be said of Frankie Valli. Well let me tell ya, James spoke exactly as he sang in that high-pitched tone. He even made fun of himself saying he sung like a little girl.

James shifted from guitar to piano throughout the set which included “Cry, Goodbye My Lover, Tears and Rain, Out of My Mind, No Bravery, Wisemen, and Jimmy.” In the backdrop was a video screen which displayed some curious images of his peculiar Monkey King logo. The origin of the logo is somewhat disputed although there are lyrics in “Out of My Mind” which reference, “It's touching that the monkey sits on my shoulder.” Also vivid on the screen were images of war-torn Kosovo that James took while he was in the British Army as he sang the haunting “No Bravery.”

The concert closed with a three-song encore which concluded with, “You’re Beautiful,” which again sounded every bit as good as the CD version except for the additional 5,000 member chorus singing along to every word. Whether he was singing about getting high (High, Wisemen, You’re Beautiful) or just hitting all those wonderful high notes, James definitely left us with smiles on our faces and feeling indeed, very high.


  • As usual, after reading your post, I felt like I was there. Wonderful!

    By Blogger girl from florida, at 8:41 PM, May 12, 2006  

  • Sounds like a great concert! And your Heat won, too!

    Too bad about the empty seat. How cool that you overcame it so you could have such a great experience. I tend to sit home when I can't find company and I'm sure I miss out on a lot.

    Can't wait to check out The Fray. Thanks for the lead!

    By Anonymous Elizabeth, at 9:28 AM, May 13, 2006  

  • The concert sounds like it was amazing....I'm really sorry to hear things didn't work out with you and Miss X. She sounded like she had "potential". Her loss.....

    By Blogger Eatapeach, at 9:05 AM, May 14, 2006  

  • Hey! Sorry for being a stranger :S People mock Mr. Blunt over here for sounding like Tony Blair! Tis funny. Glad you enjoyed his concert, and I'm sure you'll find someone special to go to concerts with soon! xo

    By Blogger Sarah, at 5:55 PM, May 14, 2006  

  • I love James Blunt. He's my sleep CD.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:10 PM, May 14, 2006  

  • oohhh James *swoon* He speaks very posh as well!

    By Blogger Amanda, at 2:58 PM, May 15, 2006  

  • Wish I coulda gone!

    By Anonymous Christa, at 4:37 PM, May 15, 2006  

  • I'm very envious. James sold out months in advance here in Houston. I couldn't get tix anywhere.

    By Blogger Sass, at 10:54 PM, May 16, 2006  

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