A night out on the bay with James Bay

Folk-pop singer performs at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay


Photo Courtesy of Leslie Gobel

Photo Courtesy of Leslie Gobel

Sunday, April 17 at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay was not a typical evening on the bay of Shelter Island. San Diegans were in for a treat as James Bay gave a stellar performance for a crowd of many devoted fans, including students at the University of San Diego.

The evening began with an opening performance from the group Joseph, three sisters from Portland, Oregon whose powerful and melodic voices rang throughout the Point Loma Bay. The intimate venue created an ambiance of relaxation and peace among members of the crowd.

Sophomore Aidan James, although unfamiliar with the group before their performance, was amazed by the extremely talented trio.

“They were a group of sisters who showed how a simple melody of three voices can be just as moving and powerful as a performer with a band,” Aidan James said. “They had a very casual presence on stage and their raw talent was incredible. It thoroughly prepared me for the main act.”

The opening act set the tone for soulful, folk-pop singer James Bay. Bay passionately continued his performance with each original song. He opened the show with “Collide”, followed by his song “Craving”. He switched the guitar in his hands with the start of each new song.

Aidan James was taken aback by James Bay’s musical performance.

“It is nice to listen to music that is free of synthesizer or autotune and is just pure talent; James Bay exceeded [my] expectations,” Aidan James said. “I did not know a lot of his songs prior to the concert, but ‘Need the Sun to Break’ and ‘Let It Go’ were definitely my favorites from that night.”

First year USD student and James Bay fanatic, Leslie Gobel, described Sunday night’s show.

“It was unbelievable, unbelievable, so great,” Gobel said. “I have been waiting to see James Bay for a while, so it was pretty hyped up for me because I am a huge fan! It was one of the only concerts that I have been to in which the artist was so talented when playing a song that the whole entire audience fell silent just to listen to him.”

At one point during the concert, James Bay played the musical chorus on his guitar for “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley which transitioned into one of his hit songs, “Scars”. His authentic talent and musical enthusiasm enlivened the crowd as they passionately sang along to his lyrics.

James Bay also rocked out to a cover of “Proud Mary” which really heightened the excitement at the Humphreys Concerts by the Bay venue. Bay’s surreal vocal chords and gifted guitar skills resulted in an encore by the audience at the end of the night.

Gobel was ecstatic when Bay returned onstage to perform more hit songs.

“I actually was one of the people who helped start the encore cheer from the front of the audience,” Gobel said. “I really wanted him to come back on because I felt so great about the whole performance. I forgot that he had so many other songs to play and I thought it was great that he came back onstage to play more than one song.”

Aidan James was at a loss for words to describe his feelings post-concert.

“You could feel the music throughout your entire body,” James said. “Words could not really describe the sensation, but it was a good one.”

As an interactive performer, James Bay definitely had fans feeling some type of way on Sunday night. It was a feeling so strong that they probably could not Let It Go.