Frank Ocean made an unequivocal observation when he said, “When you’re happy you enjoy the music. But when you’re sad, you understand the lyrics.” What James Morrison has achieved with his third album, The Awakening, is the precise halfway point of that musing.

And then you hear him LIVE… it was no wonder that people were shouting, “James, YOU give me something!” during his rendition of You Give Me Something that evening.

8.30pm saw people from all walks of life – a delightful representation of teenagers and 30 to 40 something-year-olds, both local and foreigners – all heading towards the Esplanade Concert Hall. By 8.50pm, the hall was brimming, fans excitedly chattering during sound check. From our complimentary seats courtesy of Greenhorn Productions, we had a lovely view with an empty row in front of us (yay, no bobbing heads!).

20 minutes later, the man of the hour strode out onto stage amidst tumultuous cheers and whistles. Morrison was energetic and extremely engaging – completely debunking our initial idea that he’d be in the zone with his Blues and Soulful music. James Morrison was all smiles starting with Beautiful Life.

Later, before he began In My Dreams, Morrison gazed out at the crowd and said, “This is a song I wrote for my father. For anyone who’s lost someone…this song is for you.” His raspy voice and the acoustics of the Concert Hall worked a dynamic tandem, resulting in a few teary eyes.

After a slew of slow songs, Morrison got the audience on their feet for All Around the World, hoarsely proclaiming “it’s not a gig if you’re sitting down”! Never a truer word spoken, sir!

Here’s the set list if you missed the concert:

  1. Beautiful Life
  2. This Boy
  3. In My Dreams
  4. Say Something Now
  5. I Won’t Let You Go
  6. Up
  7. Broken Strings
  8. All Around The World
  9. Slave to the Music
  10. Nothing Ever Hurts Like You
  11. I’m a Man
  12. Person I Should Have Been
  13. Previous Love
  14. You Give Me Something

After Morrison finished the last few notes of You Give Me Something on his guitar, the audience applauded eagerly for his next song but he waved, thanked the standing crowd and bade everyone goodnight!

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Of course no one in that hall that night was having any of that.

So what did we do?

We clapped for a good 5 MINUTES straight, with the fans nearest to the stage yelling and cheering for him to come back out!

Being the gracious entertainer that he was, Morrison finally walked back onto the stage, grinning boyishly and swinging his guitar back over himself to perform:

Encore: The Awakening
Encore: Wonderful World

It was a wonderful night to be shut in a grand hall with all that fervor and gritty rasp of a voice! After all that screaming and singing, us fans went home happily with our very own set of raspy vocals!

James Morrison, thank you for the wonderful evening and please grace our shores again for You Are The Man!