Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Jamie Lidell at the Metro 10/8

Posted by admin On October - 9 - 2008

-A.S. If Jimi Hendrix took the blues to outer space, and George Clinton and company took funk there, then Jamie Lidell is taking soul out past our atmosphere into the starry abyss. On his albums, Lidell is a silky smooth soul singer with songs that will stick in your head for days. On the stage he is in constant motion, riling up his band, fans and himself.

Due to the horrible parking situation in Wrigleyville, we arrived at the concert after it had already begun. Lidell’s band was slowly filtering off stage and he was taking his post at his effects rig, as we settled into a spot at the Metro. He spent the better part of the next 15 or so minutes taking the crowd through an adventure of loops, beatboxing and whatever else Lidell could think do to make the crowd dance.
Jamie Lidell brought more energy to the Metro than he did here at ACL or at Lollapalooza.

The drummer returned to the stage and began playing to what Lidell was doing on “A Little Bit More,” followed by the rest of the band for a nice outro to the song. During the whole concert, Lidell showed that he wanted the crowd into the show. For “Another Day” he leaned over to the front row and had different individuals singing the “ooo’s” at the end of the song.

Lidell’s energy rubs off on the rest of his band too. While his sax player was taking his solo in “A Little Bit of Feel Good,” the bass player put down his bass and went over to dance and amp up the sax player. All of a sudden it appeared as if the bass player had been rocked to death by the sax solo. He was laying on his back, motionless. As the solo continued to build, the bass player was resurrected.
It often seems during his show that Lidell and his bass player (pictured at Lollapalooa) are in compitition to see who brings more energy to the stage.

The set closed with “Wait For Me,” and Lidell was not done with his stage antics. While his band was jamming on the tune, Lidell was spending his time trying to balance his glasses on a bust that he had been singing to earlier in the night. The band left the stage, but the crowd was not done. They proceeded to sing the chorus over and over again until the band returned to the stage. Lidell told the Chicago crowd that it sounded beatiful, and he never wanted them to stop.

After starting the encore slow with a ballad, Lidell told the crowd he had something he wanted to try. He had his keys player play the highest and lowest notes on his piano, and told the crowd all the notes they needed fell in between there. He launched into a spiel about how he wanted everyone to pick a note, any note. It was free notes for a free country. He then had everyone hum the note the picked, and then launched into his first hit, “Multiply.”
I could tell from the start at Lollapalooza that Lidell was truly a performer.

Lidell and his band do an excellent job of transporting the listener to another place. Maybe it’s the costumed band members, maybe it’s Lidell’s silver tongue or his effects rig. All I know is that there is something that makes up the rocket ship that takes his crowd into the outer reaches of the skies.

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