James Blake didn’t skip a beat. On the heels of his Weekend 1 Coachella performance, he came straight to San Francisco for not one, but two nights of his soulful singing and bass heavy tracks. Last night’s performance at the Mezzanine left me with a huge amount of respect for Blake: he knows how to make his experience one of a kind.
James Blake has mastered the art of simplicity with intricacies. When performing “Digital Lion” off his new record Overgrown, he gave life to every aspect of the song. The keyboard and drums built upon themselves with a steady pace, as if to lead the audience into an unknown place. And once there, we were given the grand tour of the song: gushing synths and tumbling drums soothed by Blake’s smooth projection that ever so slightly, would quiver for brief moments. Then came the break. Like a loud exhale, after an exhausting spill of emotions, the song approached its end. A simple beat, alone, was all that remained. Our mind awash, easing forward. Then another track would follow, repeating a similar juxtaposition, and cumulatively painting this landscape that only Blake creates.