Return to James Durbin






To tell you the truth I didn’t even want to leave the house Wednesday night. It was too cold to go out, the roads were icy, I’d been at work all day and I kept trying to convince myself to just stay home. I am really glad I gave in and made the trek to Empire in Springfield, VA. to see James Durbin, former American Idol finalist. James’s performance really warmed up both the night and my mood. James has been seen by millions of people under extensive stage lighting, with backing bands and all the bells and whistles a top TV show can provide. Yet, here we were on a bitterly cold January night in a tiny strip mall venue in Springfield, VA, an entire continent and world away from Hollywood. When you take away all the high value production you can never be sure what you’ll be left with. In the case of James Durbin what you uncover is raw talent and a man with an incredible vocal range. It is rare to come across someone, who after a successful stint on one of America’s most popular TV shows can deliver such a flawless and humble performance. Taking the stage in torn black jeans and wearing the bandana which has become his signature, James quickly won the room over with both his voice and his down to earth stage banter. One of the first things he did upon taking the stage was to hand his bandanna to a thrilled young fan. Throughout his performance James really connected with the audience and had fans singing along to almost every song. During his set James talked about how this tour was like a “living room tour” in that he was playing smaller venues so he could deliver more intimate performances. Standing just a few inches away from the front of the stage I was able to experience how truly talented James Durbin really is. At times backed by stripped down drums and bass and other times performing solo James played for almost 90 minutes mixing originals and covers including some songs he had performed on season 10 of American Idol. James also played a number of songs from his album Celebrate which is due to be released April 2014. After his set James met with fans for close to an hour giving them all his undivided attention while signing autographs and answering questions. James’s acoustic tour continues through February 15th, dates and tickets can be found at

Cynthia Tenicela for MusicBox Entertainment