All photos courtesy Joe Stadele Photography. All rights reserved.
“All in the moment, no hesitating…”
2016 has been a particularly trying year of ups and downs. Minneapolis experienced the loss of Prince, yet felt the love the world had for one of the most accomplished musicians of our time. Legend Bob Dylan was honored with Nobel Prize, yet didn’t feel compelled to accept the recognition in person. On the heels of Eternally Even, James’ paid tribute to both legends during his Thursday night performance at the State Theater in Minneapolis.
Under blue lights and just an acoustic guitar, Jim James added a dose of proverbial electricity to the evening with a spine-tingling cover of Prince’s “The Beautiful Ones.” Cooing to the audience in falsetto, James sang, “Baby, Baby, Ba—-bay, what’s it gonna be” and whispered the spoken dialogue of the song. Without missing the highest notes of the song, the My Morning Jacket frontman moved flawlessly into Bob Dylan’s “You’re Going To Make Me Lonesome When You Go.” Jim then brought the tribute to a close with a quick reprise of “The Beautiful Ones.” On the heels of Eternally Even, James’ nod to Prince and Dylan felt particularly honest and poignant in a year in which “post-truth” has become (sadly) the reality.
Jim James had an air of cool as he paced the State Theater stage in sunglasses. With an expanded band, including members of Twin Limb, James spent a majority of the evening on vocals, occasionally picking up a guitar or moving over to keys. Comparatively, the show lacked the electricity of his 2014 performance at First Avenue in which James teased the audience with James Brown dance moves as he raced between acoustic, electric guitars, saxophone, keys and drum machine. However, the evening took on a particularly hypnotic and intriguing vibe from “Same Old Lie” to “Here In Spirit” to the extended jam of “We Ain’t Getting Any Younger Part 1& 2.” In fact, the show felt like it continued to build and the fan excitement was noticeable as attendees attempted to continuously sneak their way into the closest rows. James saved the crown jewel of the evening for the very end, the much anticipated “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)” which transformed into an extended jam as Jim wailed away on his electric guitar and teased fans with Prince’s lyric “Baby, baby, baby.”
Hide in Plain Sight
Same Old Lie
A New Life
Know Til Now
World’s Smiling Now
In The Moment
Here In Spirit
We Ain’t Getting Any Younger
The Beautiful Ones (Prince Cover)
You’re Going to Make Me Lonesome When You Go (Bob Dylan Cover)
The Beautiful Ones Reprise (Prince Cover)
Of The Mother Again
Down On The Bottom (The New Basement Tapes – Bob Dylan Cover)
State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)