Last night in San Francisco at the Great American Music Hall, James Vincent McMorrow put on one of the best solo acoustic performances that I have ever seen.
James Vincent McMorrow (JVM) is an Irish singer-songwriter whose name has been thrown around with the likes of Bon Iver and James Blake -- both amazing artists, but let's not let JVM get lost in the sea of similarities. His raspy yet silky smooth falsetto voice that's full of emotion puts him in a league of his own.
Some have marked JVM as a folk artist (yes, he has a beard and yes, he plays a guitar), which can largely be attributed to his first album Early In The Morning, but JVM consciously moved in a new direction on his second full-length album, Post Tropical, introducing electronic instruments such as a Roland TR-808 combined with soulful and hip-hop influences.
Last night, JVM was a little nervous and shy about his first solo-acoustic performance in quite some time, but once he warmed up, the packed house in San Francisco was in for a treat. JVM started off by playing a few songs on his guitar, then switching back and forth to the keys for a nice change of pace. His storytelling between songs kept us captivated, sharing tales of his current tour and why he became a musician. His set included songs from both albums, and included a cover of Steve Winwood's "Higher Love."
At the end of the night, JVM came back out for a multi-song encore that included two very memorable moments. The first was when he unplugged his guitar and mic and performed a song in true acoustic fashion, and the second was when he ended the night with Chris Isaak's "Wicked Games." The performance was chilling and full of emotion, one that I am sure no one there will forget.
This sold out acoustic performance marked the end of JVM's tour, which he admitted that it couldn't have ended in a more special way than last night.
Check out a playlist of our favorite moments from the show here.