May 1, 2008

Review: Sara Bareilles, Live, DC 04/08

Sara in Louisville last week.*

On Monday night, we went to see Sara Bareilles' show at the sold-out 9:30 Club here in DC. This was a big deal: her first headlining tour at the best nightclub in America. She did not disappoint. If you wondered whether her vocals are as strong live, they are. I'd worried the songs might sound identical to the recorded versions, but Sara's voice lifted and dipped in unexpected ways - she's got more soul than I'd have guessed. While new track August Moon didn't pop for me, her cover of The Beatles' Oh Darling made it sound like an old r'n'b song.

She performed most of her debut CD, minus two gems: bar-ballad City and One Sweet Love. For the pop crowd, she did a woozy piano version of Xtina's Genie In A Bottle (catch it at Backseat Sandbar).

NPR has a good podcast on Sara. When my car died last week, I was thinking about constantly playing her in that same car when it was so bloody hot last summer. She had just emerged, nobody knew who she was, and now she's a big star. Which is a relief, because she proves that you can actually be talented and still be successful. As I alluded to yesterday in my Alison Sudol post, Sara's also done it without any cheap tricks.

Her new video is for Bottle It Up, which is probably not my first choice for second single because it's so close in style to Love Song. I might have chosen the softer One Sweet Love. That said, the love-love-love chorus is an earworm and this could easily be a hit. She looks fantastic in the clip.

*The top photo is from the excellent Backseat Sandbar - it really captures Sara's animated mood at these shows. She was thrilled to be at the 9:30 Club and made that very clear. The pleasure was mutual.

I've been writing about Sara since early June 2007. Check out more posts here, including my album review.


countpopula said...

Sounds like Sara was great, although I'd be missing One Sweet Love too--probably one of the best songs on the album.

Must be concert week--I saw Robyn last night--she was fantastic! She did both versions of Be Mine, a nice little medley of Buffalo Stance/Push It/Konichiwa Bitches, and even a reworked Show me Love and unreleased-in-the-US Keep the Fire Burning. With Every Heartbeat was transcendent... said...

Fellow Sara lover, I am glad you had a great time at the show! I saw her last night, and it was AMAZING. I have been following her ever since 2005, and I am never disappointed by her... totally amazing.

I will be posting some pictures that I took at the show soon, so be sure to check them out!