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Photos: James Blake plays the Orpheum

With a name like James Blake, I really didn’t know what to expect as I head into the Orpheum Theater on September 27. Sure, I’d heard the name before, and I did manage to catch a little bit of his performance on Late Night, but past that, there really was a clean slate before me. Little did I know that slate would turn into my second favorite show of this year (it’s kind of hard to stack up against that Guns n Roses show).

As I entered the Orpheum, I heard subtle tones vibrating throughout the lobby. I was a bit confused. The main act wasn't slated to go on for another fifteen minutes. And everyone in New Orleans knows that being on time means being ten minutes late. Well, Blake and band mates went on fifteen minutes early, blowing my pit time, but in all actuality, being on the main floor was just as magical.


The English producer and magic maker, Blake, hasn't been to New Orleans since 2013, when he played Republic. Needless to say, his vision has changed dramatically since that stop. He gushed all night about how much he loved the city and how this vision was a long time coming. His set was composed mostly of material from this year’s chart topper, The Colour in Anything. Several of his most notable hits were sprinkled throughout the set.

The evening as a whole could have easily been described as an “out of body” experience. The combination of mellow beats and visuals complemented each other so well that is was almost like living in an amazing dream. To see that dream, you can check out more shots here.

Steven Hatley is a New Orleans-based photographer. You can find more of his photography here.