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James Durbin Hands In Powerful Performance And Rocks The Rave In Milwaukee

John Schulze

James Durbin rocked The Rave in Milwaukee on Saturday January 28th, 2012, and the former American Idol contestant lived up to his reputation as a high energy performer with a passion for his music. Durbin was in town to support his first release for Wind-Up Records titled "Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster." Just 3 songs into his one hour set, Durbin dedicated his song "Higher Than Heaven" to his new wife.

Periodically throughout the show Durbin sang through a megaphone. In particular, early in the set, Durbin used this vocal technique on his song "Screaming," and it was one of the more appropriate uses of a megaphone in a rock song I've heard in a while. The vocals matched the intensity of the music without overpowering the overall song.

Durbin also used some coloful language onstage to describe his tour of the basement and pool area of The Rave, explaining that it freaked him out so much he "Shit his pants." Durbin joked that he went back to his hotel and changed. It was a humorous exchange that was well received by the crowd.

Durbin was far from silent on the stage between songs, and a short time later asked the crowd "Are you having a good time or what, Milwaukee ?" He then took a short jump off drummer Jeff Fabb's riser.

It was Durbin's touching honesty that really impressed me the most. He informed the crowd "I can't tell you what a dream come true it is to look out on a crowd of people," and went on to humbly say "I can't do this without you."

Right before Durbin performed his hit "Love Me Bad," his band tuned up and he told the waiting crowd that "Its worth the wait." Durbin would later inform The Rave patrons that the concert was only the "Second full band full electric show" that the group had performed. They sounded well rehearsed, so the news came as a shock.

After showing one more deep and sincere moment of appreciation, Durbin said "Thank you, I love all you guys," and then performed an unreleased track with a positive message. Durban told the fans "I like to write songs that mean something," and proceeded to perform his song "Alien."

For the encore, Durbin and his band came back onto the stage and he let the crowd know that his song "Crawling Home" had "Become our unofficial official tour song," and that it was a tune about "Searching the world for something you love and realizing it's back home."

Setlist :

Stand Up

All I Want

Higher Than Heaven

Right Behind You



Love In Ruins


Love Me Bad




Encore : Crawling Home