With his trademark hat placed on the top of his head, hair dangling to the sides of his face, James Bay took the stage to a sold out Ogden Theatre on Thursday. Like a boy band with a folk filter, the group charmed the screaming and singing audience of mostly young women. Backed by a bassist, drummer, keyboardist and additional guitarist, Bay (on acoustic and electric guitar) ran through his debut album “Chaos and the Calm”. The album was two years in the making, Bay said. And the work paid off — earning him a No. 15 peak position in the U.S. and a No. 1 in the U.K.
A charming Elle King opened the show with a powerful solo set. Armed with a acoustic guitar and a banjo, her raspy voice brought a rough-around-the-edges intro to Bay’s clean-cut headlining set. She was hilarious, chatty and even when she forgot most of a song that an audience member requested, she ad-libbed self-deprecating lyrics. A bold closing choice, Elle King apologized to Bay part way through the filthy cover of Khia’s “My Neck, My Back.” You keep being you, King.