James Bay 04.14.16

SW - JamesBay02 041416Mix 96.9 knows how to throw a party – and invite a whole bunch of friends to join them.  The MIX 96.9 Spring Thing featuring James Bay at the LiveWire in Scottsdale was a complete sell-out on April 14, 2016.

James Bay has had a tremendous year. From a keynote duet early in the 2016 Grammy Awards show and 3 nominations to 2 top 20 singles in the U.S., one of which was certified platinum, and charting in a number of countries across Europe, Bay is receiving considerable recognition for his songwriting and melodies.

Bay is completing his U.S. tour in support of his March 2015 debut LP The Chaos and the Calm.  It would be an understatement to say that Bay received an enthusiastic response from the audience.  The fans were in a good mood from the start and Bay fed off of that to deliver a rousing and energetic performance.  From livelier songs like Hold Back the River to sensitive ballads like Let it Go, Bay demonstrated remarkable range throughout the evening.  Bay represents a tremendous group of young, folk-oriented singer-songwriters to come through the valley this spring, including the likes of Charlie Puth, Vance Joy and Elle King.  My personal bias is that I really like the thoughtful lyrics and strong melodies that these artists are presenting and I love the way that they are resonating with fans both in the valley and across the globe.

After Scottsdale it was straight to mega-music festival Coachella for Bay where he performed both weekends and essentially closed out his U.S. Tour.  Of course that doesn’t mean he’s done with his non-stop touring.  Bay goes back to Europe for a string of summer festivals, a couple stops in Japan and then comes back to the states in September.  While a Phoenix date has yet to be announced, if he does swing back through valley make sure to get your tickets early because if the sell-out at the LiveWire was any indication, those tickets won’t last long.

Final word: kudos to Mix96.9 for celebrating in style and bringing a really top notch artist through the valley for their 2016 Spring Thing.  Mix 96.9’s sister station 104.7 KISS FM recently announced that Troye Sivan will be performing at the LiveWire on Tuesday, June 21, which I suspect will be a sold out show as well.  It’s nice to see iHeartRadio bringing strong acts through the valley and doing so at the LiveWire, which makes for a really intimate and personal experience.

Review by Greg Cohen

Photos © Samara Walker

Photos © Greg Cohen

The setlist was:

  • Collide
  • Craving
  • When We Were on Fire
  • If You Ever Want to Be in Love
  • Need the Sun to Break
  • Running
  • Let It Go
  • Scars
  • Best Fake Smile
  • Get Out While You Can


  • Hold Back the River

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