Let Me Entertain You: Jamie Lidell @ World Cafe Live 6.9.10

It can sometimes be a little tough to gauge what a performer’s live show will be like by only listening to their records.  Some bands, like The Feelies, will present precise, faithful recreations of their studio work while others, like The Fiery Furnaces (so I’ve been told), will do everything they can to make their live shows radically different than their albums.  Jamie Lidell‘s recorded music definitely lends itself to a dance party translation, but no amount of listening to his albums can prepare you for his explosive and eclectic live show.

Lidell’s latest album, Compass, doesn’t feature as many danceable numbers as Multiply or Jim, but the set featured plenty of older songs to balance the more experimental new stuff.  The band, a three piece, instrument-switching ensemble, kicked off with one of Compass‘ strongest tracks, “The Ring.”  Jamie quickly got to one of his best-known songs, the title track from Multiply, which went right into my favorite track from Compass, “I Wanna Be Your Telephone.”  Throughout the first five songs, a mixing console at the back of the stage went suspiciously unused and unaddressed.  After “Telephone,” the band left the stage, leaving Jamie to helm the set’s thrilling centerpiece.

Looping vocals, beatboxing and other sounds, Jamie performed a string of songs from Multiply and Jim and created a thumping, club-like atmosphere.  It’s not the kind of thing you’d usually hear at a venue like World Cafe Live (which is perhaps why DJ Alex B‘s opening set was met with puzzled indifference), but it was a captivating thing to watch the pieces of each song come together.  In the middle of his solo set, Jamie came to the front of the stage, sat down on a monitor wedge and led everyone in an a cappella rendition of “Another Day,” which gave everyone a chance to catch their breath before drummer Guillermo Brown returned to the stage with a Zendrum midi controller.  With the “electric kidney,” as Jamie called it, the duo tore through “When I Come Back Around,” the splice-’em-up jam from Multiply.

With a few more selections from Compass (including the freaky title track), the band rounded out what was, in retrospect, a rather brief concert with “Little Bit Of Feel Good.”  Perhaps Jamie’s self-constructed middle section made the show fly by, but the crowd was eager for much, much more.  Still, I can’t complain too much, since Lidell’s show was about as exhausting to watch as I’d imagine it was to perform.  Even my recollection of this show doesn’t do justice to how impressive an entertainer Jamie Lidell is.  His live show must be seen to be believed.

Click the picture at the top of this post to see more pictures of Jamie Lidell in concert!!

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~ by E. on June 22, 2010.

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