James Blake in concert in Milan, the art of making music (the real one). The review

In a contemporary world in which “art” and “artist” are two of the most used words (often without any concrete correspondence), James Blake manages to bring some order. That order that, now more than ever, we all need. Of course, the definition of artist can have multiple nuances and interpretations, but the British singer-songwriter born in 1988 certainly puts them all together, without ruining them. His show, the first of the “Playing Robots Into Heaven Tour”, as well as the only Italian date, is the perfect example of how music, in its essentiality, can be enriching, sophisticated and beautiful. Yes.

The beginning with two songs from “Playing Robots Into Heaven”

It all starts, or rather restarts, from Blake’s latest album, released on Friday 8 September, which gives the tour its title, “Playing Robots Into Heaven”: there are two songs from Blake’s new creation that open the live performance, namely “Asking to break”, followed by “I want you to know”. Then, however, we go back a little, to 2011, with “Limit To You Love” and “Life Round Here”, from 2013, which features the collaboration of Chance The Rapper. Blake’s incredible characteristic is knowing how to combine many types of music, enhancing each of them perfectly, without ever sounding fake or cloying. But as we know, talent is a serious thing and the British multi-instrumentalist has a lot of it. Like the two musicians who accompany him on stage, integral parts of the show. “These two guys have been with me since 2012, let’s give them a big round of applause” James Blake will say at the end of the concert. Yes: 2012, when Blake’s music was little known, but at the same time so avant-garde and pioneering.

Art, music and uniqueness: James Blake

In this concert there is the entire artistic journey of James Blake, and it is a journey through his evolution, or rather: in the discovery of his sounds, of apparently unlikely collaborations but which, with Blake’s touch, become special and unique. Uniqueness, art, making music: three concepts that are talked about a lot, and are often appropriated (even unduly). But all the credit must be given to Blake, of course. Able to do a concert of about two hours without ever getting tired, on the contrary: the mélange of all the musical nuances is perfect. Confirmation (although not necessary) comes with “Hummingbird”, released on June 2, 2023 and part of the soundtrack of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. Metro Boomin and James Blake, together, in a song written and produced by Dre Moon and Dom Maker, with the sampling of “Tonight you belong to me” by Patience and Prudence created by Billy Rose and David Lee. In fact it was a taste of Blake’s new work, published a few months later. Not a taste, but a confirmation, in the live show in Milan, the first of the tour. “Thank you for being the first to hear the new songs, live. Thank you for coming” says Blake at the end of the concert, in which he almost never spoke to the audience, but addressed every person present with his music, his language. A live performance closed by the 2016 song “Modern Soul”.

Bringing James Blake to Italy may seem like a gamble, but never has a gamble been so fair and enriching. For everyone. More James Blake, everyone, thanks.

The ladder

Asking to Break

I Want You To Know

Limit To Your Love

Life Round Here

Big Hammer


Fall Back

Tell Me

CMYK / Stop What You’re Doing

Love Me in Whatever Way

Can’t Believe The Way We Flow


Fire The Editor




If You Can Hear Me

Playing Robots Into Heaven

Modern Soul