Jukebox The Ghost & James Blunt – an overwhelming night in Düsseldorf
text: Silvia Deurwaarder
photo’s: Claudia Podkanski – copyright protected.
It’s the last show of James Blunt in Germany for a long time. For the third time he is back, during the worldwide tour of his new album “Some Kind Of Trouble” and it is an overwhelming success. Everywhere he goes, shows are sold out and thousands of fans are welcoming him.
Trio Jukebox The Ghost is an experienced band from Washington D.C formed in 2003. Recently their second album “Everything Under The Sun” is released in Europe. It’s too easy to label them as indie-rock, because they have a very energetic pop sound as well.
In Düsseldorf people are still walking in when “Empire” sets in, a very uprising song that immediately grabs the attention. The classical orientated piano of Ben Thornewill fits well to his high, clear voice.
A rich sound is created, together with second vocalist and guitarist Tommy Siegel, what makes it more bombastic. His light guitar melody grows in an overwhelming rock tune, an interesting combination with the progressive drums of Jesse Kristin.
They have a perfect sound in the Mitsubishi Electric Halle, beautiful light and most of all: a very convincing performance. The men are moving a lot on their positions and clearly enjoying every second of the set.
Even when a darker, melancholic piano sets in, it stays interesting. Ben explains he will put two songs together: “We are doing a two part song; the first one about love and the second one of letting me on fire.”
The song “My Heart’s The Same” represents the fragile soul of the band; Thornewill gets under your skin. Very subtle the other two let the sound grow step-by-step, working towards a grand finale.
Single “Schizophrenia” is live better than on their album. The vocals are in serious contrast with the light piano tunes. It has the vibe of a poppy summer hit.
For example “ So Let Us Create” where Ben Thornewill pushes himself to the limits of his voice: high, fragile and that certainly makes you shiver.
“I Love You Always Forever” by Donna Lewis, is an interesting cover; creating a dynamic vibe on stage.
Drummer Jesse Kristin is not only very talented; he also manages to switch in a few seconds from a tambourine to a drumstick in his hands (and back again).
Jukebox For The Ghost is a very promising band; they bring something special to Europe! Hopefully the trio returns on an own headliner tour.
After the summer festivals, America, Africa and China, it is time for the last European tour of James Blunt.
His shows are always from a very high quality standard and in Düsseldorf it isn’t different: an intense experience in a perfect setting.
During the changeover a photo-collage appears on the screen, made by James Blunt during his tour: a sign of appreciation to the fans.
Also there is time for fans to collect their pictures: a promotion from the venue that recently chanced its name.
The band enters the stage in the dark, starts clapping on uprising drums. Then the piano intro from “So Far Gone” sets in, James appears in the back running to the front while shaking hands.
He grabs his electric guitar and starts to sing; in those few minutes he already wins the crowd, showing so much energy and pleasure on stage. People are clapping and the band moves you by their perfect performance.
The new single “Dangerous” is a catchy pop song that indicates the growth of James Blunt and his band. Especially on stage they are more secure; stronger than before.
Even developing a new sound with heavy guitars mixed with a light melody. The voice of James is clear, warm and very dynamic.
The stage entourage and setlist aren’t changed, so for some fans the evening is predictable. That doesn’t mean it gets boring. Totally the opposite is true: people are excited and that raises the energy level of the band.
Never change a winning team; the variation of hits and new songs from “Some Kind Of Trouble” are thought out very well. In the first part of the set many ballades, and at the end a real adrenaline rush is presented by James Blunt.
After “Wisemen” the British singer charismatically starts joking with the audience, first a bit in German, then he rapidly says; “it is the last show in Germany and it was a massive pleasure to be here and see your smiling faces.”
With a natural, relaxing and honest attitude he continues: “You have seats and aren’t seated, although I have an old section over here. You can turn around and use your chair as a frame! So you will be my choir tonight.” Followed by “Carry You Home” on acoustic guitar.
While the organ of Paul Beard and Karl Brazil on drums, are taking over the rhythm. Between all members a dynamic interaction follows, leading to a perfect guitar solo by Ben Castle.
James Blunt shows his most fragile and sensitive side on “If Time Is All I Have” empty handed without an instrument, simply standing there behind the microphone. A classical piano carries his voice, and when his voice breaks it leaves you silent and impressed.
The groovy rising bass by John Garrison together with the electric guitars – an extra one from multi- instrumentalist Malcom Moore – produce a massive sound.
James uses his high top voice and when it all melts together with the backing vocals of the band, a very rich pop song blows away everyone in their seats (although most people are standing in the front).
Without one second of collapse the band continues on this high level of energy on “I’ll Be Your Man.” Reaching an explosion of adrenaline when James Blunt jumps into the crowd, the set reaches it’s climax.
Then the musicians leave the stage, but James Blunt returns pretty fast: “It’s been amazing, thanks! I will be gone for a few years, but this tour was very special for us.“
For the last time all the energy is bound together on “1973.” It is an intensive, massive experience not many people in the audience will forget. During the bands intermezzo, James even dances on his piano! Everyone is moving, clapping and singing along. James Blunt won’t be forgotten: Düsseldorf was an unforgettable show!