Jamie Lidell Defies Nature in Chicago

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Jamie Lidell / Photo by Laura Gray
WRITTEN BY
Lizz Kannenberg

Chicago's weather may be barely warm enough for short sleeves, but Jamie Lidell still managed to set Chicago's Abbey Pub ablaze last night (June 4), singing like he was possessed by the soul of Ray Charles. Commanding a crack band, skinny English bloke Lidell's whirlwind of mid-century American jazz, soul, and funk proved his virtuosity to the sold out crowd.

Whether sending his band mates into the audience to stoke the dance party during the jam-happy "When I Come Back Around," off 2005's Multiply, or dropping the mic and going for broke with a couple of pasty-dude dance moves during "A Little Bit More," Lidell's ability to go above and beyond the call of "entertainer" validated his huge crossover appeal. It was this uncommon intersection of massive talent with an uncanny sense of performance, timing, and more than a bit of dumb luck that kept the crowd matching Lidell's sweat output all night.

Critical accolades for recent album Jim rightly laud his exquisite ear for R&B melody and knack for interjecting infectious pop tricks into London-worthy club beats and swaggering rock'n'roll, but there are certain intangibles of genius only apparent in a live setting. Sticking a microphone in a certain writer's face for an impromptu "woo hoo!" during "Out of My System" was the icing on the cake; Lidell's weird, auspicious sound, stage presence, and charm is the stuff legends are made of.

We asked: Jamie Lidell is set to open for Elton John in Europe this winter. If you could tour with any pop star of the '70's who would you choose and why?

Read the fans' answers >>
More photos from this show >>

We Asked: Jamie Lidell is set to open for Elton John in Europe this winter. If you could tour with any pop star of the '70's who would you choose and why?

Back to the story >>
More photos from this show >>


Jamie Lidell / Photo by Laura Gray


Jamie Lidell / Photo by Laura Gray


Jamie Lidell / Laura Gray


Jamie Lidell's saxophonist pulls double duty / Photo by Laura Gray


Jamie Lidell / Photo by Laura Gray


Jamie Lidell's band hits the dance floor / Photo by Laura Gray


Jamie Lidell / Photo by Laura Gray

Back to the story >>
Read the fans' answers >>

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