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Christina Perri Celebrates a Happy Birthday at Lakewood in Atlanta

Christina Perri performs in Atlanta, August 19, 2014
Christina Perri performs in Atlanta, August 19, 2014
Photography by Andrew Snook

There are lots of things to do in Atlanta on a Tuesday night, particularly on your birthday; Christina Perri chose to spend her 28th birthday celebration performing for about 8,500 of her closest friends at Lakewood Amphitheatre. The show at Lakewood was the opening night for her Fall US tour as a support artist for OneRepublic and used to promote her latest album release “Head Or Heart.”

When Perri last played in Atlanta she was headlining at the small, intimate Buckhead Theatre. This time, as the support artist to current chart-topping band OneRepublic and in a much larger venue she was able to provide a much larger audience the opportunity to enjoy her music and performance.

Christina Perri’s performance is as much about her stage presence as it is about the music. She is as talented at performing her songs as she is at writing them. Much of her music catalog are piano-based ballads and she is a good piano player. Despite performing several songs while behind the piano her expressive face as she sang readily demonstrated that she doesn’t just “go through the motions.”

Take her out from behind the piano and she is the classic pop performer dancing across the stage, making eye contact with the audience, interacting with both them and her band. It made for a very interactive and engaging evening.

What was also really appealing was her modest and sincere self-deprecating style as she chatted with the audience between songs. She seemed genuinely touched when the audience took up a chorus of “Happy Birthday” wondering how they would know it was that day.

Christina Perri could be expected to play her most popular songs and she did so, much to the delight of the crowd. But she didn’t backload her set; she started the evening with her breakout hit “Jar of Hearts” and mixed her more familiar songs like “A Thousand Years” and “Human” in with her newer material.

While the audience was comprised of a fairly broad demographic it was not as young as I would have expected given the appeal of both OneRepublic and Christina Perri to the high school crowd which was almost certainly a function of the school-night timing.

There was no lack of energy and enthusiasm on the part of the crowd for Christina Perri and there was no lack of energy or enthusiasm from her. There might have been other places to be on her birthday but Christina Perri was perfectly happy where she was, on stage at Lakewood Amphitheatre.