Going Live: Jim James

In love with the sound of music, JIM JAMES is a rebellious poet. His Wednesday night gig at the Phoenix Concert Theatre not only showed how much control he has over a major market like Toronto, but it also – to an extreme – shined a light on how comfortable he is with defying the standards of alternative. Witnessing the soon to be 35-year-old wrestle his debut solo album is almost like watching a man throw blows with his past as James distanced himself to fully extort futuristic patches of funk (“Dear One”), romantic odes (“Exploding”) and cloud nine rock and roll (“Actress”). Even though his set revolved around Regions Of Light And The Sound Of God and a few ear-clipping My Morning Jacket/Monsters Of Folk covers, his performance was in-sync from start to finish. His doo-wop vocals clicked, his guitar freakouts screamed, and thanks to “A New Life”, James ultimately proved he’s better than Adele.

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