Fresh off the release of his second solo album, Jim James stopped in Portland Wednesday night touring his Eternally Even Tour. Playing a collection of tracks from his two albums, James provided a slow and steady performance of rock and groove. It could be a natural mystique or James’ intent to have the music maintain center stage, but either way he appeared somewhat withdrawn, wearing sunglasses for his entire performance while keeping his movements monitored and mellow. While a My Morning Jacket concert is nothing short of a ’70s classic-rock fever dream with explosive energy and instrumentation throughout, the Jim James solo show is much more subdued. Even with talented musicians abounding, the intention was more minimal on all fronts, yet no less engaging.
Appreciative to be in PDX, James gave a special shout-out to Eric D. Johnson, lead singer of the Fruit Bats and local Portland resident. Specifically he thanked Johnson for allowing the use of a piano sample from “Minor Miracles” which became the baseline for Eternally Even’s current single and standout track “Here In Spirit.”
An encore included an acoustic cover of Bob Dylan and ended with the A.E.I.O.U. (State Of The Art), the opening track from debut album Regions Of Light And Sound Of God. Providing the most energy of the night from the closing song, James continues his notoriety as an entertainer, giving fans exactly what they had been hoping for while still leaving them wanting more.»
– Greg LeMieux