Sunday, August 22, 2010

Casey James and the Amercan Idol Tour in Seattle, Washington

It's hard to think of Seattle without thinking of the great music that came out of there in the mid-80s to mid-90s.  Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam -- their music defined an era and influenced a generation of musicians.  But any rock music historian will tell you Seattle is also the home of guitar god Jimi Hendrix and the sisters who rocked as well as the boys, Heart.

Today there are newer artists who also hail from this part of the Emerald State -- Modest Mouse started in nearby Issaquah and Death Cab For Cutie in Bellingham.  Seattle is also home to Harvey Danger whose song Flagpole Sitta has one of my favorite lines -- "been around the world and found that only stupid people are breeding."  It also has the line, "and I don't even own a TV."  Which brings me to the formerly TV-less Casey James, who was rocking out in Seattle Friday night.

We have a mixed bag of video, some great, some incomplete, but enough to piece together almost all of Casey's songs.  It's All Over Now has some new footwork (much involving maneuvering around an errant cord) as well as some new guitar playing (I was going to add, "with no errant chords," but that's too punny even for me).  I should also take a moment to add that as someone who cares a great deal about grammar, I wonder if we could change the title of his first song to I Have Mine.  I'm just thinking of impressionable children whose future SAT scores hang in the balance.

Videos:  Okay, fine, here are the videos from the Key Arena:

I Got Mine

Casey seemed particularly into it tonight. Maybe it was the layoff of a couple days? Maybe it was being in the hometown of the legendary Hendrix? Maybe he -- as I once wrote -- really does need to play the way there rest of us need to breathe air. Whatever the reason, he really appeared to feel it even more than usual. This was a particularly dynamic performance.

Don't (Partial)

Sadly, the video stops abruptly, and prematurely, but it's still great to hear his take on this song.

HYERLAW

Casey's voice sounds amazing. Maybe he drank a Red Bull before the show -- he seemed more animated while playing the guitar on this song.

It's All Over Now
I figured it out. They probably sampled the coffee at every Pike's, Seattle's Best and Starbucks they found. That would explain Casey just ripping it up like a maniac.

Reviews:
The Seattle Times reviewer had this to say of Casey James:
If young Kelly deserves a shot at the recording game, the lanky blond Texan hunk Casey James has justifiably scored one. He's been signed by Sony, and proved his mettle at the Key with blazing guitar and vocal renditions of "It's All Over Now" and the Black Keys' "I Got Mine."


Though dressed down in tousled hair and scruffy jeans, James adorned himself with four (or was it five?) different guitars, including a nifty turquoise electric model. And talent-wise, he's the real deal, a Southern rocker with a bluesy growl (and none of that irritating vibrato he used on TV), and instrumental chops that suggest a deep immersion in the ways of Allman and Hendrix.
I'm assuming it would be a dream come true for Casey to be mentioned in the same breath as Jimi Hendrix.  Kudos to Casey!

Seattle PI Music wrote of Casey's performances:
Moving into the top three, Casey James brought down the house with a dazzling display of guitar soloing on The Black Keys' "I Got Mine." James received high marks during Idol for his instrumental prowess, but due to time constraints his solos were always limited to a few bars. In concert, he unleashed a torrent of blues rock fury that brought nearly everyone at the Key Arena to their feet. His vocals were excellent as well, arguably more convincing than anything he did on the television show. Shania Twain's "Don't!" allowed for a tender moment with far more restrained guitar work, as James switched from acoustic to electric for the solo.


Joined by Michael Lynche, James dueted on "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" which was a popular moment during season nine. I would've preferred something from James on his own, as my tolerance level for that insipid Bryan Adams ballad is very low. James closed his set with some ferocious slide guitar as he tore through "It's All Over Now," which he first performed during Rolling Stones week of Idol. A common complaint about Casey James during his time on the show was a lack of stage presence. He seemed to wash away any doubts regarding his charisma, working hard to give the fans their money's worth.

The reviewer, with BlogCritics.com, added at the end of the review, just in case his position wasn't clear enough:  Casey James emerged as the true star of season nine, displaying such impressive ability on lead guitar that he overshadowed everything else.

Well, well, look who's coming into his own just as the AI tour is about to end and the rest of his life as an artist independent of AI is beginning.  Now who predicted that again?  Ouch, I could pull something  patting myself on the back like that!

Finally, a fan's experience of meeting with Casey after the show is on page 85 of Jamestown II on Castrocopia. Well worth the read!

ClickChick posted a review of the concert on MJsBigBlog and here is the excerpt concerning Casey:
Holy cats! Who was that guy tearing up the stage using the name Casey James ’cause he he sure as heck is not the same guy I saw on American Idol. This Casey was a raw and powerful performer who displayed not even an ounce of stage fright or discomfort. This Casey delivered gritty pitch-perfect vocals accompanied by a ton of charisma. He worked the stage like a pro frequently losing himself in the music and the audience ate it up.

12 comments:

  1. I think we can say "I Got Mine" in certain situations, and not be grammatically offline :) When Casey went MIA a few weeks ago, then gave us a LOOOOONG t-party, i got a few replies ... so we can say "I Got Mine"!!! i don't know ... just thinking out loud :))

    ReplyDelete


  2. Outstanding article, Shari! Loving it...WOW! haha!

    Amaaaaaazing performance...
    That is one hot 'star' radiating massive energy!!!



    Love,
    Margaux

    (twitter: @seata_dapants)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mercy... I've watched so many of these videos and it's just getting better and better. This is so hot, I'm fanning myself. Maybe the boost from having signed a deal, or the confidence that comes from thousands of appreciative, enthusiastic, adoring fans totally getting into the music he's making. Or, yeah, could be Red Bull- lol.

    MaryS

    ReplyDelete
  4. All of these videos were great! I never get tired of watching/listening to Casey James!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you so much! Saw Casey in Mountain View but the video from my camera was horrible. So glad to see him again. An absolutely amazing performer and great guy. Can't wait for his solo tour and albums!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I don't think the partial video (1st half) of It's All Over Now was from Seattle. He wasn't wearing that blue plaid shirt! It's still great to watch though :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for all the "positively" powerful articles written in Casey's favor. I love reading all this good stuff. Thank you for all the vids, he's undoubtedly the best and just keeps getting better and better! Love Casey.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Casey is awesome! I saw him in LA and Anaheim!! He just undoubtedly Rocks!! Thanks for all the interviews, vids and pics...I need a Casey fix daily!! Keep em' coming!

    Dona

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am so happy for Casey that he is getting such wonderful reviews. He so deserves it!!! I so wish I could see him when he comes to Iowa, but I cant afford the tickets right now.
    Thanks Shari, for this blog, you are doing an amazing job for all of Casey's fans.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I get fixed too, in more ways than one. I can stay fixed to this computer chair for hours reading about Casey, I have housework to do!!:) Lovin every minute of it though. The recap from JuneBug at Jamestown II is an absolute for everyone to read!!! Just LOVE it. I had to hold on to my chair I was laughing so hard about the neck and hair stuff. I can just picture Casey in the whole scenario.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It is so exciting that the whole world is now beginning to realize what we, as his fans, have known all along-this man is an amazing musician! It's also very exciting to see that he seems to get better with each performance & the very first one was amazing! The news that Casey is getting better all the time is no surprise for a person as driven & talented as he is, but it does leave me in awe of what amazing music we will have the chance to enjoy far into the future. Well done Casey; your fans are so proud!!

    ReplyDelete