James Concert Review – Cape Town, 24.11.2018

It was a beautiful evening when I arrived at Kirstenbosch Gardens and the enthusiasm of the crowd was evident as the winding queue portrayed.

We entered the venue and managed to find a little spot atop the hill of the venue, with an incredible view of the city and the stage below us.

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Watershed started their set at 19:00 and it is always lovely to be able to watch a local staple perform at Kirstenbosch. It allows us to appreciate our local talent and show our support.

James is an English rock band from Manchester, which was formed in 1982. Lead singer Tim Booth departed from the band in 2001 and the band became inactive. In 2007, the band reunited and went on to produce six more albums.

Tim Booth is a very entertaining frontman, with a ton of energy, but with no tolerance for cellphones. He expressed his desire for the audience to “live in the moment” instead of taking videos/pictures to post on social media later on. He performed two songs amidst the crowd, but didn’t want to spend time with “one-armed people”. Considering the world we found ourselves in, it is refreshing to be reminded that the world doesn’t revolve around social media.

“Getting Away With It All (All Messed Up)” was a true crowd pleaser as it should be. It is an enigmatic song and one of the band’s most popular tracks.

“Say Something” was another hit with the audience and they were very happy to perform backing vocals to the entire song.

“What’s It All About” is a song from the band’s latest album, “Living in Extraordinary Times”. I love the vibe of this song, it deals with a serious topic, but the melody is extremely catchy.

“Hank” was another track that the band performed from their latest album and the drumming on this song in particular was impressive.

“Leviathan” is a compelling song about two people’s journeys coming together as one.

“Many Faces” closed the band’s set and it was a beautiful experience. As Tim ended off the song slowly, the crowd took over chanting the last verse;

“There’s only one human race
Many faces, everybody belongs here
There’s only one human race
Many faces, everybody belongs here”

It was absolutely magical, while the full moon was high up in the sky, the audience came together as one in that single moment.

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I thoroughly enjoyed James’ performance and I can say that for the first time the studio albums don’t do the live performance of the band justice. I have never said that about a band’s material before, but I mean it as a massive compliment.

I will admit that I wasn’t familiar with the band’s material before, but I loved every second of their set. My friend and I were standing the entire time, which locals will know is not the norm for a show at Kirstenbosch Gardens. We were dancing the whole time!

Shout out to We Are Live! for the free tickets!

Thank you to James for a memorable night!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Our Last Night – Cape Town, 17.11.2018

We arrived at a sold out Mercury Live show on the 17.11.2018 and our tickets had been purchased months prior, due to the popularity of the band on South African soil.

Later on another show was added to accommodate more fans. There was a lengthy lineup of local talent prior to Our Last Night’s set.

Treehouse Burning was up first and I was taken by their energy on stage. It might not be the type of music that I normally listen to, but I really enjoyed their set. What stood out to me the most was the use of the electronic sound. It really impressed me so much, that at times my mouth hung open. The use of intermittent silence really intensified this feeling.

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OneDaySky was up next and they have an interesting dynamic. The band originates from Johannesburg and started their journey as a band in 2008. The lead vocals range from clean vocals to unclean vocals which create an interesting dynamic between Chris Watts and Eric Barnfather.

 

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Set For The Sky¬†was brimming with energy when they came on stage. The lead singer’s enthusiasm is infectious and the crowd got swept up in it immediately. I enjoyed this band’s set a lot and I would love to see them again.

 

 

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As Time Divides¬†was up next and there were definitely a few hardcore fans in the crowd, that is for sure. The band came on full force and didn’t let up until the end of their set. As Time Divides was founded in 2016, so they are relatively new on the scene and I’m sure we will see a lot more of them in the future.

 

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We waited almost an hour for Our Last Night to come on stage, but when they finally did it was a moshpit from start to finish. They opened with “Same Old War”, an older song but definitely a favourite amongst fans.

“Tongue Tied” was performed next and this is one of my favourites. It is heavy, interlaced with tender moments and then you get punched with Trevor’s screams on various occasions.

 

“Ivory Tower” really took the established moshpit to the next level and the crowd went absolutely bonkers when this song was being performed. It is definitely one of their heavier tracks and the crowd took full advantage of that.

It was super entertaining when Woody, the bass guitar player crowd-surfed over to the bar, crowd-surfed to the sound tech and back on stage with four beers and a guitar in his hands!! What a feat!

“Dark Storms” is exactly what is described in the title. It consists of a dark, broody melody and ominous lyrics. The chorus is great to sing along with and is a Our Last Night staple.

It wouldn’t be a Our Last Night show if they didn’t perform some of their signature cover songs. “Humble” took center stage and I always find it intriguing to see how the band interpret popular songs.

“Home” is a great rock song from the band and it was followed by one of my favourite tracks and from what I can tell a solid fan favourite….”White Tiger”!

“Soul Speak” is one of the latest tracks from the band and it is sonically diverse and captivating. “Prisoners” from the album “Younger Dreams” was up next followed by the very popular “Broken Lives”. “Broken Lives” is a motivational song, speaks about the fact that we all suffer in some way and how we need to take responsibility for our decisions.

“Ghost in the Machine” and “Road to the Throne” featured on the playlist thereafter.

The band performed their cover of 1-800-273-8255 originally performed by Logic. The crowd just loved the band’s version of this song.

“Reason To Love” appeared on the set list and this track was from the band’s “Age of Ignorance” album.

“Sunrise” is a really special song and great to sing along to, so it made sense that the band would close the show with this one. The love the fans have for this song was evident in their reaction when the first few notes hit the air.

Our Last Night returned for their encore with “Common Ground” which was a fantastic choice to end the gig with. The atmosphere was electric!

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The entire evening flew by except when we were waiting for Our Last Night to come on stage. This crowd meant business and they were there to have the best night, there is no doubt about that. Our Last night’s performance was a blur, because it went by so quickly and with incredible intensity. Luckily my friend snapped a picture of the set list, which made my job a lot easier!

I sincerely hope Our Last Night grace us with their presence again soon!

Thank you Jampacked Productions for bringing them to SA!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K