Big Love for Jamie Lidell at Music Hall of Williamsburg

April 15th, 2013

Jamie Lidell – Music Hall of Williamsburg – April 13, 2013

With a genre-transcending style, Brit Jamie Lidell has been making music for almost a decade. His mastery of loops and rhythmic beatboxing creates sonically charged material that brings a large helping of soul and provides an irresistible need to dance. It’s no wonder that Target used his track “A Little Bit More” for its Spring/Summer 2007 ad campaigns. And touring in support of his latest, a self-titled album, he played a sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday evening.

Turning an assortment of dials to illuminate the room with lasers and strobe lights, Lidell resembled the Wizard of Oz in a trench coat. Appropriately, his set began with the new LP’s opening track, “I’m Selfish,” behind what looked like a command center of music-production gadgetry. Indulging longtime fans with oldie “A Little Bit More,” Lidell exclaimed how great it was to be back in New York City before treating the crowd to “The City,” from his debut album, Multiply. He took a trip down memory lane with the title track from his 2010 release, “Compass,” afterward colorfully describing how it had been sampled in Lil Wayne’s “Back to You.”

Returning to his newer material, Lidell displayed his musical range, going from the pounding beats of “What a Shame” to the smooth R&B sex call of “She Needs Me.” He cranked up the bass so high for “When I Come Back Around” that Music Hall literally reverberated to its rafters. For the encore, Lidell enlisted fans in the front row to take the microphone for the catchy chorus as he crooned­­—worthy of Otis Redding—the career-defining single “Multiply.” The evening then closed with everyone from the floor to the balcony singing along to “Big Love.” The love in the room was undoubtedly mutual. —Sharlene Chiu