Walking, Talking Singing Beth Hart Wins Colston Hall Hearts
Colston Hall, sold out always has a fizzing vibe add into to that the expectation of Beth Hart it was before the event like a champagne popping festival.
Before the main act, Canadian Colin James opened the evening joined on stage by band member Chris Cordell. A stunning, crowd-pleasing authentic acoustic blues duo, finger picking, slide showing the dexterity of the fingers as both guitar tones complimented each other. Colin James vocals were strong shaping the lyrics and backing from Chris providing deep tones gave a depth of interest. With the latest album Blue Highway selling well we were treated to Sam Cook and Otis Rush. Colin’s resonator had a great sound that resonated with the audience who were enjoying the music with all the anticipation of Beth bubbling around the auditorium.
The Colston Hall audience were delighted to welcome Beth Hart back to Bristol. As all eyes were on the stage as the band walked on and the opening bars of More Than You’ll Ever filled the hall the vocals of Beth were heard from the back of the auditorium. Dressed in black with stunning red high heels she walked down the stairs stopping to hug, shake hands and smile without missing a beat. Beth took time as she delighted fans by being up close and personal and then she stepped up onto the stage and her band and Beth were reunited. What an entrance, spellbinding, personal and was a hint of how the rest of the evening was going to be.
There is a story behind every number which Beth shared with candour, openness and a few tears with the audience. The hard reality of the lyrics behind the songs were laid bare for the audience to pick over. We saw Beth with microphone, behind the piano and playing guitar, the set list was altered and Colston heard songs not planned but which felt right to Beth tonight. Yes, there were numbers from her current album Fire On the Floor including Coca-Cola and Fat Man. The two songs are so very different one looking back to days on the beach as the teenager and the other, Fat Man, a critic of decadence , and greed a high energy rockier number. But tonight was not about promoting the latest it was about singing the songs that Beth felt she wanted to share with this audience.
Celebrating her home and its quirky uniqueness Beth, accompanied by her acoustic guitar, serenaded The Ugliest House On The Block. It was stage presence and more tonight, Beth engaged with the packed house on so many levels through her songs and sitting staring and looking directly at you. Beth made it feel as she was singing to each of us individually in a small venue, not a packed concert hall.
There were so many spine-tingling tear jerking moments but, A Good Day To Cry was immense in its emotional delivery tonight. We wanted the music to go on but as ever the curfew was winning as Beth asked her husband if she could play one more for him. Thinking about it discarding some songs she decided tonight as the night to sing from Better Than Home, We’re Still Living In The City. Beth and her piano made this such an intimate gig in a large theatre, what talent, what personality as someone shouted, “We love you, Beth!”
The encore again was a change from the script with her wonderful emotive version of I’d Rather Go Blind and then singing A Capella version of the song, because her Manager prefers it that way, As long As I have A Song, tonight was special. Thank you, Beth, as you sang you did Pour a Dream tonight.
Tonight we were enchanted under the spell of Beth’s aural seduction her vocals purred, growled and beseeched as she filled the hall with warmth, sadness and hope.
Beth Hart tonight delivered more than a song, more than a show it was open, heart-rending connecting to us on an individual level. Tonight was music therapy for everyone.