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

Scott Stapp Kirstenbosch Concert Review 15.12.2015

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One day I was surfing the internet as I always do and I came across an article on Loudwire.com about Scott Stapp. He announced that he was embarking on a brand new tour, which is great, but normally all I see is a list of US tour dates (based on previous experiences). Can you imagine my surprise when I read that he was coming to SOUTH AFRICA! I couldn’t believe it. This artist that I have been listening to/following since I have been a teenager is coming to my home town.

We arrived at the venue very early. We were treated to an entertaining performance by Van Coke Kartel. Van Coke Kartel is an Afrikaans alternative rock band from Belville, Cape Town, South Africa. The band consists of Francois Badenhorst (vocals, guitar), Wynand Myburgh (Bass), Jedd Kossew (guitarist, vocals), Dylan Hunt (drummer).

Van Coke Cartel was on point and ready to get the crowd warmed up. Van Coke Kartel played “Môregloed“, the super-fun “I Want Brandy” and the energetic “Dis ‘n Land”!

The official video for “Môregloed” can be viewed below:

 

The clouds started sneaking over the mountain about 40 minutes before Scott Stapp was scheduled to perform. About 15 minutes before he was due to come on the stage it started raining. Luckily it stopped a few minutes after the band finished preparing the stage. Scott Stapp started with “Bullets” which is a fantastic opener. I knew from the get-go that I wouldn’t be able to sit down for much longer. I remained seated for the lead single from Scott’s second solo album “Slow Suicide” and one of my all-time favourites “My Own Prison”. “My Own Prison” is such a unique song lyrically and I will always be inexplicably drawn to it. The crowd in front of the stage seemed to be having so much fun, I just HAD to join in and I’m so glad that I did!

I arrived at the front of the stage for the hard-hitting track “What If”, I only started to appreciate the song years after it released. “Faceless Man” was next and it is a spiritual and mystical song. You can’t deny the power the song has, I’m captivated every time I listen to it. “Proof of Life” is the title track from Scott Stapp’s second solo album and lyrically it feels very autobiographical to me. “Justify” a song from Scott’s debut solo album was an interesting entry on the set list and a nice change of pace. “Overcome” from Creed’s last album “Full Circle” was an expected and in my opinion crucial part of the set list. I feel that it is Scott’s own anthem and personal creed. “Only One” is a beautiful love song from Scott’s second solo album. “What’s This Life For” is a question that I think the majority of human beings have asked themselves at one point in time and it resonates with me, because it is such a daunting question to ask. “One” is a timeless song which translates very well live. It has become my new favorite song after the concert. This song is proof that music can unite people. “Society blind by color, Why hold down one to raise another”. “Arms Wide Open” was a clear crowd favorite! The crowd sang along as one unit. “Higher” really amped up the energy to another level with the crowd bouncing along to the chorus.

The band left the stage leaving the crowd wanting and they returned to the stage for the encore. The crowd was demanding “One Last Breath” for their next performance. The band complied, to the crowd’s delight. I will never forget the music video for this song for as long as I live. At the time it was really impressive and I still enjoy it to this day. The classic “My Sacrifice” ended off my too short night. I think the song speaks for itself and I find myself thinking of another music video that has been imprinted on my brain.

The musicians that make up the rest of the band that Scott brought along really made a beneficial impact on the whole performance. They delivered each song as if it were their own and added to the ambiance of the night.

Scott has a massive stage presence and you can feel the power of his voice and emotions while watching him perform. I admire his perseverance through the years to strive to become a better man/husband/father, so that he can enjoy his life with his family. I’m in awe of the number of times Scott had to pick himself up to start over and relieved that he has gained clarity regarding his bipolar diagnosis in order to become healthy again. Watching Scott perform live I have once again realized how much the lyrics of each song mean to me and I felt very nostalgic.

Scott come back, I miss you!

Thank you for sharing your talent with us, I think I speak for everyone present that we hope you will return very soon.

In a surprise twist… I was lucky enough to have been 1 of 3 winners in a competition to win a dedication from Scott Stapp. Scott dedicated a song to ME!

View the video below:

View the live performance of “My Sacrifice”. Scott points in the direction of my camera towards the end.

Scott Stapp performing “What If”:

Watch the epic opening song “Bullets”:

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Me and my other half having too much fun at Kirstenbosch Gardens!

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Scott Stapp

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Scott Stapp