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James Vincent McMorrow @ The Wiltern 12/1/16. Photo by Marina Rose (@MarinaRose7) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
James Vincent McMorrow @ The Wiltern 12/1/16. Photo by Marina Rose (@MarinaRose7) for www.BlurredCulture.com.

“It’s a very special venue”, sighs James Vincent McMorrow as the artist comes out of the shadows, an onto the stage  of the venerable Wiltern Theatre.

It felt like we got an exceptional variation of vocals that night. From the husky Allan Rayman earlier in the night, we were now about the experience the angelic falsetto of James Vincent McMorrow.

James Vincent McMorrow @ The Wiltern 12/1/16. Setlist.The Irishman famous for his “Higher Love” and “Wicked Game” covers has a countless number of terrific originals. I remember seeing this gent play and early afternoon Coachella set few years back, and it was honestly one of the most beautiful moments of the festival, if not my entire life. It was perfect. Now, after 3 years, it was such sublime pleasure to catch McMorrow performing to a sold out Wiltern theatre during his “We Move” tour.

“I remember seeing Broken Social Scene here,” McMorrow reminisced between songs. “I was playing the Hotel Café back then”. After performing his cover of “Higher Love”, the singer encouraged fans to move a little, “Now it’s time for something I call ‘the dance portion of the show’” he mused as his band started playing “Rising Water”; emotional pop tune with an 80s vibe really hits you hard after McMorrow’s fragile Steve Winwood cover. It was fascinating to me how he was able to such a sad song and make it sound so uplifting. It’s like smiling through melancholic tears, and it’s that kind of magic quality that draws new fans to his music.

Not being able to hide his excitement about playing at The Wiltern, McMorrow kept sharing little life stories and reminiscing about the long road that had gotten him to where he was at that moment. He remembered how he used to play at small LA venues like the Bootleg Theater, and the differences between then and now. “There was a bullet hole in the hotel room where we were staying and the whole roof was a ‘shower’. Things are different now,” he smiled. I have an urge to find that hotel with the bullet holes.

Before finishing his encores, McMorrow took another moment to truly show his gratitude to the City of Angels. The neo-soul, folk singer flattered us all by saying how much he loves coming back to America and how welcomed he always feels when he’s back in town. Well-done LA.

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