It’s almost the end of the week and the weather is taking a turn for the worst so it must mean it’s time to head to a concert. This time in the impressive City Hall at Sheffield which is an impressive venue I have to say. It’s been a while since I’ve attended an all seated show, but it fits tonight’s mood and having a great view of the stage without having to fight the 7 foot person who always finds a way to stand in front of you is a welcome change!!
The large stage is all set up for the night, with two seats taking centre stage for tonight’s first band, Kris Barras Band to be exact. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the intimate set up but honestly I was blown away as I’m fairly certain everyone around me was too. Kris sat with his electric guitar and gravely blues voice was an impressive sight but his band mate was the true star tonight. Not only was he playing acoustic guitar and singing vocals alongside side Kris, his two legs were performing also! With his left foot controlling the bass drum and his right performing bass, it was some talent to watch. The set itself was a great blend of old and new and sounding incredible with the acoustics of the building. What was interesting is how intimate the whole thing felt despite the size of the building but this may be due to the way Kris made the room feel at ease to the point at one point someone yelled out a “yee-haw” during one song. As the half an hour set came to a close, I only had one thought and that was I want to see more!
Beth Hart was tonight’s headliner though and this is the type of venue that is perfect for her blend of Blues Rock. Continuing the intimate feeling with Beth sitting right at the front of the stage to open just her, her guitarist and some candles on the stage. It certainly set the scene for the magic which was yet to come. What did come next saw the crowd on their feet to enjoy something a little more upbeat before a little sing along. The highlight for many in the crowd tonight however will have been when Beth decided to walk amongst the crowd, stopping to hold hands and hug fans as she continued to sing perfectly, never missing a beat. Later in the night the crowd was treated to the fan request of “Picture in a Frame” which was a simply beautiful and intimate moment as there was no band, just Beth and her piano. The whole show is absolutely stunning, with no theatrics just Beth, her band and some truly stunning lighting on the stage. Nothing more is needed though, as the whole performance is completely captivating. Beth has a larger than life personality on stage and draws you in with her charm and even larger vocals, while still being completely down to earth and relatable. The perfect example of this was noticing when she messed up the lyrics and just stopping to announce the error before picking straight back up and pulling you back into the magic. She is completely open with the crowd discussing everything from her family to mental health and celebrating 5 years of sobriety this year, proving she is a person like you and me with her own demons to face. By opening up to her crowds, she lets you into her world, and gives you the meaning behind those tracks that she performs with such passion making them all that more special to witness live. It’s safe to say performers like Beth Hart are one in a million and words don’t quite do her justice. She has to be seen to be believed in quite how talented she is and how incredible her performances are. If you’ve not seen her yet, I would say find your nearest performance and prepare to be blown away.
Review: Emmie Ellis
Photography: Mark Ellis