James (Blake) Litherland

So last night I went and saw James Blake perform live at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia. It was my first time at the Electric Factory, however it wasn’t my first time seeing James Blake live. For those who don’t know me that well, James Blake is my favorite artist and if you’ve never heard his music, I highly recommend giving it a listen.

Anyway, Philadelphia was extremely overcast last night and it had a consistent drizzle lingering over its head. In a weird way it kind of set the mood for the concert last night. I say that because if you listen to James Blake’s music you’ll notice how dark some of it is.

Anyway, once I got into the venue, I got really…. well, I don’t know how to describe it so let me say this. It was like I was gearing up for a football game. Like I was getting my mind right for what I was about to experience. It was kind of weird actually.

For those who know me, know that I’m extremely personable and will literally start a conversation with anybody. So like my usual self, I ended up talking to a couple people next to me. The crew was Edward, Diandra, and Ty. We talked about James Blake and other artist we all seemed to have in our current music rotation. The conversation with them really helped pass the time until the show started. It seemed like before you knew it, it was about that time.

It was 8:30pm and the opening act came on. His name was Moses and he killed it. He honestly was one of the most talented musicians I’ve ever heard in my life. If you don’t hear about him, or if he doesn’t make it big in the next few years, well then something went terribly wrong because the guy is brilliant.

Anyway, now it was time for James to hit the stage.

(Yes, I just referred to him as James. I know we’re not on first name basis or anything, but its my story so yeah. Also if you haven’t noticed, I’m saying “Anyway” a lot in this. Disregard those, its like 1am and I just feel like saying “Anyway” right now.)

Anyway, as the stage crew was transitioning from setting up for the opening act to James Blake, I found myself in another conversation with someone. This person was to the left of me and his name was J.R. I noticed he had on a Penn Medicine hoodie so we talked about that whole process. As he was telling me about the ins and outs of what med school life is like, the show was starting.

See I’ve been to a couple James Blake shows before so I knew what to expect from him. I’m not saying he was bad because he wasn’t. What I’m saying is, the prior times I’d seen him perform live, the show was amazing. So that’s what I expected…..Amazing!

And like usual he didn’t disappoint. Not trying to get to deep into him as an artist because I’m sure there are some hardcore James Blake fans out there. But one thing I always notice about his shows is that first day on the job type of energy. It always seems like he’s playing to get noticed. Almost as if he isn’t who he is. But see that’s what I appreciate from him as a fan. It feels like he cares and isn’t just there to collect a check. He seems genuine in the fact that he really loves what he does.

A common theme I noticed about James Blake concerts is the diversity of the crowd. His music is so universal that everyone can relate too it. As I randomly glanced into the crowd, I smiled a little. I smiled because regardless of whats been going on in this country, I saw people from every walk of life vibing together. It gave me a sense of hope, and with that feeling in mind, I watched as James Blake did what he does best. It was a perfect way to cap off the week, and a great start to the weekend. I had a great time and I’m looking forward to the next time I can see him perform live.


(To Edward, Diandra, Ty, and J.R., it was great meeting each one of you. To J.R. , I wish you the best as you finish up med school. Trust the process and enjoy the journey.)

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