Sunday, June 27, 2010

SHOW REVIEW : Jamie Lidell, June 14 2010 at Venue (panties were thrown!)

UK neo-soul artist Jamie Lidell made the Monday night crowd at Vancouver's Venue Nightclub throb and bounce with his soulful wails and throbbing beats. And it's just as well that I wasn't able to capture any shots of the man and band, because he was so energetic, running from one side of stage to next, that I'm not sure my point-and-shoot could've handled it.

Lisa Christiansen of CBC Radio 3 recently released a podcast in her Extended Play series posing the question, "what happened to rock's front man?". Although Lidell's realm is slightly removed from rock, no one at Venue would question that he was the consummate showman, fully in control of the audience's experience. He enthralled the surprisingly large weeknight crowd from the second the silver backdrop of the high stage was hit with the spotlight, to the glowing embers of red lights as he exited stage left. Sporting a Joseph-esque multi-coloured striped coat over top of a plain white T and a pair of jeans, Lidell cast a spell over the room, inducing not one, but two women to throw their panties on stage at the undeniably sexy performer.

Listens through Lidell's latest album Compass had prepared me for a performance that would channel pop greats such as Michael Jackson, with a healthy dash of John Legend-esque R&B. Consider me surprised when Lidell bade his (excellent) band goodbye for half of the set to turn Venue from a underwear-tossing soul haven to a fog of electronic psychedelia. The crowd transitioned from ecstatic and frisky to fixated, and waved and bobbed to the sound of Lidell's modulated voice and beats. Although the strongest parts of his set involved his chemistry with his band as opposed to facing side stage, head down at his keyboard, it's to Lidell's credit that the energy of the room did not just drop right off.

Jamie Lidell played a set split equally between older hits and tracks off his latest. Here's a highlight of his set, "Your Sweet Boom," which if I remember correctly, he dedicated to his girlfriend's bum.