James Bay Pays Tribute to The Band's Levon Helm, 4 Years After His Death, at L.A. Concert

James Bay
Debra L Rothenberg/Getty Images

James Bay performs live in concert at Irving Plaza on April 29, 2015 in New York City. 

Though he has only released one studio album, James Bay's fans are already utterly devoted to the British singer/songwriter. At Bay's concert at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday night, the silence between songs was filled with fans screaming at Bay to have their babies, or just love them in general. 

For his part, Bay seemed unfazed by the horde of screaming fans. In fact, he used the fan-crazed momentum at his concert to get fans off their feet in an entirely seated venue. "This is the first time I've come up against a seated crowd," Bay said to his devout audience. "They don't sit down in L.A.!"

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The "Let It Go" singer may be such a professional when it comes to handling #TeamBay because he, too, knows what it's like to be completely devoted to his favorite artist. Bay has been vocal about his love of Canadian-American rock group The Band and their late singer/drummer Levon Helm, covering their song "The Weight" several times in the past.

Bay's concert in L.A. marked the four-year anniversary of Helm's death at age 71. To pay tribute to the singer, Bay came out for an encore after performing the majority of his debut album, Chaos and the Calm, and treated fans to The Band's 1969 song "Look Out Cleveland."

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"There was this post, and it reminded me that four years ago today there was a great drummer who was part of a great band," Bay told the audience before his cover, citing a post on Levon Helm's Facebook page. "His name was Levon Helm and he was part of The Band. Levon and The Band -- I was a big fan of them. And this guy's post, it said, 'Hey, what if on the 19th, four years after Levon died on the same day, everybody playing a show played a Levon song, played a Band song?' So we're gonna do just that." 

Though Bay's tribute was admittedly last-minute, the performance was a soulful, folky tribute -- backup singers and all. There's no official video from the concert (yet), but for now, you can watch Bay's performance of The Band's "The Weight" with Hyde & Beast below.


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