Part 2 of 2 reviews from last Monday’s Sara Bareilles show
So this was supposed to be parts two and three of my review, but honestly, I’m not feeling that inspired, so you’ll get it all at once, and you’ll like it! Well, I hope you will, anyway.
Marc Broussard is someone that I’ve followed with great interest over the past few years. Originally signed to Island back in ’04, he released two albums, “Carencro” (named after his hometown in Louisiana) and “S.O.S.: Save Our Soul” (an album almost entirely made up of R&B covers). Despite middling success, he has moved on to Atlantic Records, who are actively promoting his new CD, “Keep Coming Back”. Despite having all three CDs and a benefit EP he put out for Hurricane Katrina victims, I’ve never seen him live until last week.
Marc’s time on stage flew by, being an opening act length set. He hit several favorites of mine from the first CD, including “Rock Steady” and “Save Me”, which someone from the audience yelled out for. He said he hadn’t performed it in a while, but it sure sounded well played from where I was sitting. Other highlights included “Come In From the Cold”, from “S.O.S.”, and “Evangeline Rose”, which he wrote about his baby daughter. Prior to “Evangeline”, he espoused his love of being a father, and it really hit me that this guy doesn’t seem to do anything unless he really feels a passion for it. A song like “Lonely Without You” that’s on the new record would sound alright sung by anyone, but the passion and the sincerity that Marc puts into his ballads really gives them a life of their own.
While I wish he’d done “Home” from the first record, I enjoyed the tracks that he did decide to feature. The band was top-notch, his voice was in great shape, and it was a terrific set. For a little extra bonus, I got to meet him in person at the end of the show. Really nice guy, and very passionate about what he does. He told me that he feels most proud of this CD than any of his others. From the grin on his face as he talked about it, you can be sure that’s not just lip service.
So at this point in the evening, we’re two-for-two, and I’m really looking forward to Sara bringing the house down. The lights come down, the band takes the stage, and Sara starts in on “Vegas”. Great song, great performance, but there’s one issue…the sound mix. It was HORRIBLE. And not just on that song, but through almost the entire show. Anything involving the entire band just completely washed out Sara’s voice. Bad sound crew!
In spite of the mix, I did enjoy the set. With only one album to work off of that people would know, she worked her way through just about every song, and threw in a couple of cool covers to beef up the set. Feist’s “I Feel It All” was about as much fun as any other song she did, and she blew me away with her version of the Counting Crows’ “Sullivan Street”, featuring just her and a guitar. “Love Song” was the big sing-along you would expect, and in a great twist, she opened “Come Round Soon” with the chorus to “Black and Gold”. Unexpected, but really well done!
The high point for me, though, was “Gravity”. I’m kind of biased, if my recent entry about the song hadn’t given me away, but it was amazing. When a singer can play a song like that, and cause the entire theater to shut up for four minutes, it’s a truly potent moment. I choked up a little bit, because I’m a softie like that, but it showed me just how much potential Sara has. New songs “August Moon” and “Little Voice” (go figure…it wasn’t on the record) sound great, and will make a good base for the second CD as she begins to plan it out. And you know what a second CD will mean, right? Another tour, which I’d love to go see.
Oh no! I hate it when sound issues mar a concert 😦 Still it sounds like you had a good time – the cover versions sound really interesting. I do like it when an artist mixes it up on stage with things like that 🙂
I have been to several shows where the sound was too much and made my experience bad. Coincidentally enough, one of those shows was the first time I saw Sara, who was opening for Marc (I went to see Marc Broussard, and had never heard of Sara then). Well, the band between her and him was WAY too loud, and as a result, I was so over it by the time Marc came on. I do think it is funny how full circle it came for those two though… glad that they are still touring together.
I hope that the next show you see is at a smaller venue; she really excels at that type of performance. I hope she doesn’t get so big that she stops doing them.
Also, get the live CD, it really is what Sara sounds like live, and it is amazing.
Paul, it was a great experience overall. I’m letting the sound quality jade me a bit here, but Sara was on point.
Duane, yeah, they made a good match as far as the billing went. I was hoping that she’d come out and sing on the song they did together, but no luck there. I have gotten the CD, but just haven’t had a chance to listen yet. That may be tonight.