Amanda’s Top Acts of 2015- James Bay

Every year closes and there’s always a select number of events and things that stick around in my brain and really stand out as something memorable. I mean, if it wasn’t that memorable, I probably wouldn’t be able to recall it as vividly as I do after an entire year passes by. For me, 2015 was filled with a fair amount of music related trips and some really “omg this is really happening?!” moments. To be honest, you already know about these artists from our site but I’d like to share what makes them special and why going out to see a band/artist is such an awesome experience for me…


Photo by: Megan Gotch (@thenerdygirlie)

James Bay is someone who’s name you should be familiar with from reading our site. He’s an amazing artist with a really soulful and gritty voice with lyrics that can cut you to the quick and reverberate through your soul. I was lucky enough to see him a few times this year with the standout moment being at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach. Bay had been scheduled to play there back in May and I missed out on the tickets. (Drat!) Then the show had been rescheduled to August and I missed tickets again. (Bummer!) Finally, the date was rescheduled to November and I discovered it just in time to get tickets to the show in November. What luck!

Back in July I had seen James Bay sell out the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, which according to Wikipedia, holds 3,500 people for musical events. So, the opportunity to see someone who was literally selling out arenas across the US at the 600 capacity Belly Up was something truly special and unique. Also, something that wasn’t likely to happen again. Since I knew this would be a really unique opportunity to be up close and personal, I decided to get there a few hours early and wait in line. I’d say the wait paid off in spades by being part of the first line of people against the stage. There isn’t any kind of barrier at Belly Up so when I say we were there, we were right there!

It was a truly amazing experience and one that will likely never be reproduced. James was his highly amusing and entertaining self throughout the entire evening. He started the evening by saying that he was finally happy to be there after all the issues and “music industry bullshit” and he was just happy people showed up after all the jerking around. I won’t get into the minutiae of the entire evening here because that would take up entirely too much of your time. I will however give you these details (and maybe more if you ask me in person)… he played for over an hour, he played everything from Chaos and The Calm, he also played some of the songs from his previous ep, there was a sing along portion of the evening, and he did a cover of Proud Mary. He completely owned the stage. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see him yet, I urge you to get on it! He’s currently touring everywhere but here it seems so keep your eyes peeled!!

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