Crushing Vinyl / Guest Post / Live Music / Theater

Sara Bareilles, The MSG Theater

By Theresa Anderson

A few months ago I started hearing Sara Bareilles’ song, “I Choose You,” on Sirius XM’s channel 15-The Pulse. I, of course, was familiar with her other hits and loved, loved, loved the “Brave” video. But “I Choose You” really spoke to me. I eventually looked up the video and came across a live version. I watched and thought, “Her voice is amazing live, I wonder if she’s playing New York anytime soon?”  Lo and behold she was playing at the Theater at MSG on Saturday, July 19th. Woo-Hoo!

After that, I found myself on a Sara kick—checking out interviews and other live performances (one of my favorites was her performance at the Grammys with Carole King). I learned that she has such a great personality and you can tell that she truly enjoys what she does and is humble to boot! Whenever she speaks on the inspiration that her song “Brave” gives, especially to sick children, you can tell that she truly cares and seems to be the real deal.

Now on to the show! There were two opening acts, Hannah Georgas and Emily King. They both sounded great, though I honestly didn’t see much of their sets. Coming in from Long Island usually always comes with a catch, so we didn’t get to the theater until after 8pm. After we found our seats, caught a song of Hannah’s, waited on the women’s bathroom line and grabbed a cocktail…we ended up only having time to see Emily perform two songs.

Sara’s show started with “Little Black Dress.” The set was simple and the lighting was beautiful (even when it got in the way of us trying to take a picture)! Her band consisted of guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, cello, violin and of course, piano. Second up was “Wanna Be Like Me.”  At one point, she dropped to her knees to photobomb a young boy’s picture who was standing near the front of the stage. I love when performers interact with their audience, it makes you feel like they really want to be there! She asked the names and ages of a few young children who were attending, the youngest being six. She then apologized to them later in the night for her cursing. She has quite the potty mouth, but it actually comes off as charming, not vulgar and she was funny as hell. The crowd, as you would guess, was mostly female, but sitting right next to me with his girlfriend was a gruff looking man in his late 40’s singing every song, taking pictures and cheering with the rest of us. J

She banged out all of her well known hits and mixed in a few surprises: a cover of Sia’s “Chandelier” which she did solo playing the ukulele (amazing!)and En Vogue’s “My Lovin’ (You Never Gonna Get It),” harmonizing with the girls in her band. During “Manhattan” a black & white video of Sara walking through the streets of New York City played in the background. We could see the sights through her eyes until she turned around at the very end—loved it! During “King of Anything,” there was major audience singing/participation, which is always fun.

For her encore she came out with just the girls and they sang “Bright Lights & Cityscapes” a capella. Unreal! Again, the harmonizing between the four of them was incredible.  The rest of the band came back and she finished the show with “Satellite Call”.

Such a great show, I’m forever a Sara fan! It’s so refreshing to see someone sing live without all the magic of an engineer in a recording studio. I’ll definitely be listening to more of her other tracks on her current and past albums and will be keeping an eye out for when she’s back in town!

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