In her Little Black Dress, Sara Bareilles captivated Cleveland

Sara Bareilles

July 11, 2014

Jacobs Pavilion- Cleveland, OH

           Cleveland was dressed up and ready on Friday, July 11, 2014 when Sara Bareilles came to town.  There were countless ladies wearing little black dresses, which happened to be the name of her tour.  The audience was filled with people of all ages, male and female, with a majority of the crowd being adult couples. Bareilles began the evening by coming out on stage to introduce her tour and her opening acts, and to everyone’s pleasant surprise, she had on a Cleveland Cavaliers hat in celebration of Lebron James returning home.

The show started with Emily King who was wearing a sort of sailor-like looking outfit.  Her music was very R&B with a little Soul.  She was a talented singer with very soothing, soft rock type music. Her band consisted of drums, electric guitar, bass, and two keyboards.  King played an a few songs on guitar, one being a song called Down from her new EP that was on-sale at the show.  She played a bunch of unheard songs and invited the audience to dance, but most people just remained sitting, saving their energy for Bareilles. Her final song was more upbeat and enjoyable, which lead to the crowd clapping along. For having such a strong voice, her stage presence needed improving because she stood at the microphone for practically her entire set, instead of walking around the stage trying to get people involved.

Hannah-2Up next was Hannah Georgas whose music was more Pop/Rock and R&B.  Originating from Canada, British Columbia, she was wearing a black and white striped dress which complemented her red hair.  What a very talented musician she was, singing and playing electric guitar, keyboard, and ukulele.  Her music was more upbeat than Emily King, but it still had that coffee shop vibe to it.  She talked minimally with the audience, but for one of her songs she dedicated it to her father who had passed away, saying that it was a “song about her mom, in memory of her dad”.  After her set, she was out in the back meeting and taking photos with the audience.

Finally Sara Bareilles took the stage at 9:15pm and played a full hour and 45 minute set.  She was wearing a black dress with black knee high socks with her hair hanging loose. She opened with Little Black Dress and then sang two unheard songs that were assumed to be new.  The stage was set up with Bareilles’s piano being the center of attention in the middle of the stage and it was where she spent most of her time. The stage also had lifted square platforms for each of her band mates that lit up along the edges with different colors throughout the night. The next song she sang was inferred to be called Someday, and it led to poka-dot lights being projected onto the white tarp ceiling of the outdoor venue. Bareilles was without a doubt able to get the crowd on their feet, as well as dancing and interacting with her.  In between songs she stopped and took a moment to say “This shit is big! What a gorgeous place to play music. I feel like a little girl living her dream right now, so thank you for being a part of it”. Being from Cleveland, it was quite the compliment.  Next she sang Cassiopeia and stood in the front of the stage and crashed the cymbals along with the song.  The back screen of her set was translucent which enabled it to be projected upon. During her next song, I Choose You, there were projections of the lyrics in cursive motion. She also dedicated that song to Cleveland and made another statement about Lebron returning by saying “He made the right choice,” and then she put her Cavs hat back on.  At completion of the song, she acknowledged that everyone was singing along because people usually don’t sing along to that song loud enough for her to actually hear them, and for that she was very grateful.  Hercules was next and during this song was when Bareilles truly captivated the entire audience with her voice.  Some artists go on tour with an elaborate set and costume changes and put on a fantastic show, but Sara Bareilles didn’t need all of that to still put on a magnificent concert for those who attended; her voice was more than enough. She then played electric guitar for a new song which had a more Soul/R&B feel to it and she sang it with such Sarapassion.  After that, she slowed it down with Manhattan on piano and briefly explained the meaning behind it; it was written at a point in her life when she was going through a bad break up and had to make a change—that change was moving from LA to Manhattan.  Throughout the song there was black and white video footage of her walking the streets of NYC.  White sheets were dropped behind her to make the concert feel more intimate and it definitely worked.  She then played a cover of the song Chandelier by Sia who is a huge inspiration to her, and she dedicated it to the bleacher section of the audience. One aspect of Bareilles that was very noticeable throughout the night was that she has awesome stage presence.  She is excellent at making conversation with the audience which makes the show much more personal and enjoyable.  She slowed it down again on piano with her 2007 hit Gravity and let the audience sing part of a verse which continued the intimate feeling.  “You’re beautiful Cleveland, thank you,” she said afterwards.  Next she sang a new song that was probably titled Asshole that had the lyrics “he’s an asshole and she’s a bitch,” and the crowd totally loved it.  It was very catchy and fun to listen to and try to sing along with.  To get the audience back on their feet and dancing, she sang her well-known hit, Uncharted.  During that song she must have noticed a young girl in the front row because she invited her up on stage to take a quick picture with her.  The girl’s name was Carly and Bareilles kept saying how she was “so freaking cute,” and she even gave her the Cavs hat she had been wearing earlier in the evening.  A fan favorite, Love Song, was next.  It had a different sound to it at the beginning and she started by walking around the stage and ending on the piano. To continue with the uplifting tempo, she sang Never Gonna Get It from Burlesque that gave Christina Aguilera a run for her money.  Then she introduced the members of her band which consisted of guitar, keys, cello, violin, drums, and bass.  Wrapping up her show, she sang King of Anything which incorporated a projection of the inside of a piano on the back screen.  She stopped in the middle of the song to split the crowd in half for a call and response session where each side sang a different part of the song.  She mentioned that she had never done anything like this before, but for those who had seen her on her Blessed and Unrest Tour knew that wasn’t true.  Lastly, she concluded with her current smash hit Brave and the crowd went wild.

She sang with such passion and emotion that it rubbed off onto everyone in the audience.  Brave would have been a wonderful way to end the night but she came back and sang two encore songs.  First was a slower song called Satellite Call that she did on piano. Second was her more upbeat song Eden that sure was a crowd pleaser with dancing and a projection of the inside of a kaleidoscope in the background. With her strong confidence and immense passion, Sara Bareilles is definitely going places.  This will undoubtedly be her year with hopefully a Grammy win in the near future.

Review by: Alexa Pressman

Sara Bareilles

Hannah Georgas

Emily King