On Sunday, at Immanuel Baptist Church in Los Angeles, hundreds gathered to witness the incomparable James Blake.
When he got to the stage, he was humble, and friendly—even his attire was casual (a red and white soccer jersey). His demeanor was reminiscent of a friend that was asking you to listen to their new music as you both sat casually in a makeshift studio.
Once he began to play, it was clear that James Blake performing in a place of worship was all too perfect. The crowd became deafeningly silent, and like a tsunami, Blake was still and suddenly commanding, prominent—like a pastor in the middle of a passionate sermon. Heads bowed and swayed in sync, as if in trance.
His set list included the beloved, “Limit to Your Love,” “Retrograde,” and “Love Me In Whatever Way,” “Wilhelm Scream,” and other ethereal tracks. A new song he gifted the audience with was “Asking for a Friend.”
By the end of the show, it was clear that while it wasn’t his intention, Blake became the leader of a new religion: a group of people mesmerized by his (incomparable) vocal abilities, modesty and genuine connectivity.
If you get the opportunity, it would serve you well to see James Blake live in concert, it may not save your soul, but you can feel like it for a couple of hours.
Keep up with James Blake here.