You wouldn’t know it from his music, but James Blake is a funny guy. Yes, that James Blake, the one whose falsetto wails wistfully with somber lyrics, typically accompanied by gentle piano and looping synth elements.

During a stripped-down solo performance at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, that very same James Blake sprinkled plenty of levity and charm throughout an hour-long set that vacillated in song from angelic to brooding to, in at least one case, straight-up comedic.

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The unassuming, 31-year-old London native set the tone for the evening not with anything he said, but rather in his choice of an opener. Rather than enlist another vocalist to serve as the undercard, he brought on his friend, the comedian Neal Brennan, to warm up the audience. By bringing on someone as sharp and irreverent as Neal—who bragged a bit about co-creating Comedy Central’s famed Chappelle’s Show—James effectively set the stage for his own laughter-filled performance.

In between simplified but still resonant versions of his own tracks and covers of his personal favorites, Blake cracked wise at his own expense, much to the delight of a crowd that sat rapt—and, occasionally, crowed out to him. He facetiously humble-bragged about working with the likes of Rick Rubin and Frank Ocean (before belting out his own version of “Godspeed”), slipped in a tongue-in-cheek cover of Aqua’s “Barbie Girl”, and compared his own throat, from whence so many glorious sounds have emanated, to a tightly clenched anus.

In truth, James’ voice was (and still is) the furthest thing from flatulent. He certainly didn’t treat it that way, with sips of water and tea between songs. Whether stretching to the heavens on “Retrograde”, building up through “Love Me In Whatever Way”, softly swooning and crooning out “The Colour In Anything”, or bouncing to “Life Round Here”, his perfunctory pipes were more than up to the task of carrying the day, sans James’ usual musical accompaniments.

If anything, the humor that James brought to bear on this evening came across as an extension of broader emotional palette revealed on his most recent release, Assume Form. That much came through clearly in his recreation of “I’ll Come Too,” as well as during the self-deprecation that followed his attempt at call-and-response on his soon-to-be-released song, “Say What You Will”.

The absence of flashing lights and fancy sonic tricks also afforded James an opportunity to pay homage to some of his own favorite artists. There were covers of Bill Withers’ “Hope She’ll Be Happier”, Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You”, and Don McLean’s “Vincent”—none of which are particularly cheery, but whose inclusion suggested anything but a weary artist.

All public indications point to a happier, healthier James than the one who produced his initial tracks from his bedroom. He’s reportedly been with British actress Jameela Jamil (of The Good Place fame) since 2015 and has clearly drawn inspiration from the light of that relationship along the way.

So it was that, even while surrounded by darkness on a dimly lit stage in an old theater in downtown L.A., James managed to light up the room as much with his personality as his pitch.

Blake has two remaining shows in Brooklyn at the BAM Harvey Theatre December 17th and 18th before he embarks on a world tour that will take him to Chile, Argentina, Brazil, France, Switzerland and many more countries across the globe. Tickets are available here.

You can check out a gallery of photos from the show below courtesy of photographer Josh Martin.