As part of her summer 2014 Little Black Dress tour, Sara Bareilles graced the stage at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida, accompanied by the musical stylings of Hannah Georgas and Emily King. In classic Bareilles spontaneity, the songstress surprised the crowd by coming on stage early to personally introduce Georgas and King and give a little bit of history into the friendships. It seems that Bareilles can be quite the stalker, especially when it comes to artists she admires, using social media to "force her to be my friend." But I'm pretty sure this required very little convincing.
Hannah Georgas, the evenings first act, wooed concert goers with her charming mix of sarcasm and her clear command of guitars. Part of her charm was, of course, her honesty in giving the crowd a little history behind her songs, like the one she wrote as her own personal form of revenge for unrequited love or the ever-so-popular "Millions," about what to do when someone shoots down your dreams.
Georgas moved the crowd with her song "Shortie," a mellow I fusion of drums, keyboard, and bass. But the one of highlight was her rendition of "The Deep End," and the amped-up ukulele that accompanied it. As her first time playing in Hollywood, Florida, the Ontario native brought tears to the eyes of many with "Ode to Mom," a sentimental song she wrote for her Mom after her dad passed away.
The second act of the night, Emily King, jumped right into her set, pausing briefly from her two-stepping for a quite hello in between songs. She came packed with a mix of soulful sounds and a delicate voice. This New York native included a cover of the Beatles classic "Help!" in her set, asking the crowd for a little help, and received a surprisingly harmonious collection of backup singers throughout the venue.
Concert goers eagerly awaited the re-appearance of Bareilles for her set, going crazy, cheering and clapping with every new band member that came on stage. And finally, as a lights went dark, everyone jumped to their feet, and with bright white lights lining the boxed up platforms, Bareilles finally appeared in the middle. In her little black dress of course, belting out the fan favorite "Little Black Dress."
Always the charmer, she posed for a random selfie mid-introduction with a young girl in the front row. How could you not love her? This just makes her casual profanity all the more lovable.
The set-list included a perfect amount of hauntingly beautiful ballads, and get-up-on-your-feet pop songs. Sharing the stories behind her words, like the song "Hercules," about a particularly dark patch in her life where she spent a lot of time on her knees praying for strength and finding her faith, gave her performance a deeply personal touch. The light show throughout the concert played beautifully into the rhythms of the songs, building up to the climax perfectly in line with the humming of the instruments, and the soulful beauty of her voice.
Her song, "Come round soon," was accompanied by the powerful vibrations of her electric guitar combined with the undeniable truth behind her words that made for a truly moving performance. Add in the full orchestra in the background, and that kind of emotion can move a room.
Growing up on musical theater, Bareilles also debuted a song from the stage adaptation of the film "Waitress," which she is writing the score for, entitled "She used to be mine." Let's just say many concert goers found themselves in tears once she was done, luckily she lighted the mood win her casually witty way saying " It's always interesting to be at a pop rock show where you hear someone singing about pie, so you're f%#@ing welcome Florida."
The performance also included a cover of Sia's ballad "Chandelier," and a haunting rendition of "Gravity" with extra-long electric guitar solo. During the song "Uncharted," the concert-goers pulled out their phones and lite up the stands, causing the singer to, well, almost cry. Labeled "twinkle peeps" by Bareilles, she gushed on how she always wants that to happen at her shows, but that it hardly does and asked "don't ever put them away, it's like being in a sea of stars. It's amazing."
After sharing an interesting story of what the man that inspired her to write a "happy" love song by pointing out how "depressing" most of her songs were, the singer dedicated "I choose you" to couple in front row, married 39 years and attending the concert with their family. She went on to belt out her latest hit single "Brave," walking off stage with a quick thank you and leaving the crowd rowdy and loud as they pleaded for one more.
A request she happily granted, coming back to sing a acapella version of "Bright Lights and Cityscapes," and closing with an angelic performance of "Satellite Call."
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