James Blunt in concert, by definition, is not the easiest performance to attend on your lonesome. It is one of those experiences best shared between two… like a nice cup of tea, a Kit Kat or Valentines Day. The crowd was laden with canoodling couples, both young and freakishly old, and the dateless, who came well supplied with their mothers, vodka, and their bottom lips protruding.
However, there was a league of barely pubescent boys at the concert. I had a late night theory that this is because they thought The Blunt would have the same effect as Prince and the night would end in outright orgies in the toilets of the Royal Theatre, but seeing as the single girls were all maternally armed and had neglected to shave both leg and armpit I doubt this was the case. These boys were here to hear the musical musings of a man named James.
And James did not let his fans down. The show was a graphically filled amusement park, comprising of camera-laden microphones which projected close-ups of the band onto the rear screen and a backdrop which changed with every song, making the audience feel reassured that if anything, the $90 they forfeited to attend paid the wages of an extremely good graphic designer and, oddly enough, for the acquisition of a rather large Monkey Magic-style gong (I don’t know what it was there for but it was genius). The show consisted of his best from both albums old and new. The repertoire was comprised of love songs such as You’re Beautiful, which had those who were romantically affiliated holding hands and swooning (freaking cringe-worthy), break up anthems like Goodbye My Lover, which were accompanied by the weeping of the dumped/down-trodden, and disco dancing-styled tracks like 1973 that were strategically placed to stop a football-styled riot between the two factions.
Mr Blunt was what could be described as energetic, witty and somewhat sweaty. James leaped all over the stage changing from piano to guitar. His Beatles-styled band backed him up when he decided to jump into the crowd mid set, surf on his piano, and woo the lovely ladies with a series of not-so-smooth finger pointing moves. He had the audience in stiches with his quick comments and smart replies. James performed like this show was his last, hitting high notes that seem to be near-unreachable to any human being other than a eunuch.
The most inspiring song, No Bravery, was performed to background video footage from a tank driving through war time Bosnia which made the somewhat fickle audience take time out to think of what the Blunt described as “the bigger issues.” What is an inarguable fact, music preferences aside, is that the concert was tightly performed and amazingly crafted; James Blunt put on a show that impressed his audience and made all present feel like they had shared a magical moment infused by a legal type of Blunt. Last night Mr Blunt was the man of his own domain. I would even go so far as to say the concert was a fun, if you can handle watching the exchange of saliva between mammals and tears between desperados. The Blunt worked it…and nearly everybody won!