Well, Nicholas St. James had one hell of a weekend. He played not one, but two shows at the Replay, starting with an unforgettable performance at his EP release show Saturday.

In addition to scoring major points with his latest EP, the gregarious folkster has been rapidly gaining attention lately. Of course he is, what with that extraordinarily gruff voice, exceptional guitar effects, and noteworthy color palette.

He did not disappoint on Saturday. Not only was the stage covered in the musician’s signature shade of canary yellow, it was also bathed in yellow light. Unlike previous solo performances, this time around Nicholas St. James arrived with backup thanks to a drummer and an eerie organ accompaniment. It complimented his sound and style perfectly.

Unlike his alarmingly gut-wrenching songs, the performer is actually a fairly pleasant person. So we weren’t too surprised when he started handing out goodie bags full of toys to the audience. He also threw a few balloons (yellow, of course) to bop around during the set.

St. James’ momentum was impeccable. He plowed through one song after another, each building more tension within the notes, and eventually filling the space between the notes with that famous force and strain we’ve come to know from him. It’s infectious, unavoidable, addictive, and a remarkable display of pressure that erupted in hearty applause and appreciation at the end. This man puts so much thought into every note and muscle movement that comes out of him, and it shows. He bounces and flies so harshly about the stage, yet with so much grace, it’s almost exhausting just to watch him.

It’s hard to believe this comes from a performer with just an EP behind him, but rest assured this is not the last we’ve heard from Nicholas St. James. Yessiree, you can bet your bottom dollar that yellow is most definitely in this season.

Words and photos by Fally Afani