There are singers, there are good singers – and then there is Beth Hart. The Bridgewater Hall was the latest in a series of sold out venues
around the UK to experience the power, passion and purity of this extraordinary artist.” – Lancashire Telegraph
THERE are singers, there are good singers – and then there is Beth Hart.
The Bridgewater Hall was the latest in a series of sold out venues around the UK to experience the power, passion and purity of this extraordinary artist.
Her voice is simply remarkable, a thing of great beauty which at one moment threatens to break your heart and the next uplift your soul.
With her great band behind her, she led a devoted crowd through every emotion on a night that most in the audience will not forget for a very long time.
As the lights went down and the band struck up the opening chords to Your Heart is as Black as Night, that voice filled the auditorium. Then she appeared, at the back of the hall, walking down the aisle hugging fans she recognised and giving high fives to those she didn’t without missing a bit.
A Beth Hart concert is an immersive experience. As anyone who knows even a bit of her back story, here’s a woman who has lived a life – indeed probably several lives – but now in a good place, she’s not afraid to reveal her frailties.
In different hands, this confessional nature of some of the stories introducing songs could be embarrassing, but it in Manchester it just added to the intimate nature of the show.
Songs from her latest album Fire on the Floor, featured prominently in the set and live, gained extra intensity and emotion, notably Picture in a Frame and the Leonard Cohen-inspired Love Gangster.
The voice rightly gets all the acclaim but what is often overlooked are Beth Hart’s abilities as a piano player. For much of the set she sat at the keyboard, candles flickering on top, the keyboard adding an extra richness and poignancy to the songs.
Never one to change a setlist or an arrangement, there was a comical moment when she began a song at the piano, looked up and realised that the rest of the band had left the stage. They were called back and emerged from the wings like naughty schoolboys who had been caught smoking behind the bike sheds.
With such a special night it’s difficult to pick out highlights but Sister Heroine, written in memory of Beth’s sister Sharon, bordered on the epic; A Good Day to Cry, dedicated to producer Michael Stevens who died during the making of her Better Than Home album, was both uplifting and chilling at the same time and Love is a Lie leading into Tell Her You Belong to Me was the perfect way to end the main set.
An encore of Waterfalls saw Beth taking another trip around the hall while the band rocked and the evening finished with an acapella version of As Long as I Have A Song – a fitting ending.
For the audience as long as they have Beth to sing that song the world will be a better place.