On July 22, Sara Bareilles brought her magnificent talent and tour to the Red Hat Amphitheater in downtown Raleigh, NC. Bareilles is a force to be reckoned with. She brings a raw and natural talent to the stage that is rarely found in artists today. She commanded the audience with every breath, every word. The stage is her home. The air was electric as she sang familiar hits, intertwined with newer songs.
Her presence was magnetic, even as she briefly came out on stage before the show started to introduce the opening acts, Emily King and Lucius, and as she stood side stage to watch the bands perform. This was our first time seeing the singer-songwriter, but it certainly won’t be the last!
The opening acts, Emily King and Lucius were both excellent and brought a quality to the stage that was delightfully unexpected from the stand point of an audience who in large part wasn’t planning to take notice of the openers. Emily King is a singer-songwriter from New York City who brought such a soulful presence that the audience couldn’t help but turn their attention to the stage. It only makes sense that an artist with so much pure talent (Bareilles) would bring talented opening acts on the road with her and that is exactly what she did. After King performed a set of soulful ballads, Lucius came out on stage and rocked. They simply rocked. Their debut album is out now, and it is worth purchasing. The lead singers, Jess Wolfe and Holly Lessig are enormously talented and every song they played pumped a new life into the audience in preparation for Bareilles taking the stage.
Bareilles began her set with “Little Black Dress” and took the audience on a journey of love, loss, laughter and life before ending with an encore of “Satellite Call”. Words can barely describe the tremendous and transcendent experience of the concert. She was better live than on CD, DVD or video . She had background projections for most songs, of those I especially enjoyed the projections for “I Choose You”. Two of the most spectacular songs from the evening were her cover of Sia’s “Chandelier” and a new song from the musical adaptation of Waitress that she is writing entitled “She Used to be Mine”.