Beth Hart

Special guest: Paul Mayasich

The Fitzgerald Theater

September 24, 2016

 

Photo's and Review by: Patrick Dunn

After attending Beth Hart’s February 2015 show at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, I remember feeling like I’d just experienced the best performance I’d ever witnessed on that stage. I’d been hoping for a chance to get a repeat of that night ever since and was thrilled to find out it was finally going to happen at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul. Although Hart’s fame is not quite at the level of her extraordinary talent, she surely gains new followers with each project and outing. Some may think the challenging path she’s traveled has gotten in the way of greater mainstream success, but actually it has attracted a very loyal following of fans who are grateful to have discovered her songs that have helped them navigate their own life circumstances.

Considering it was the final night of the Fire on the Bus Tour and the band had family in attendance, it seemed likely that this was going to be a special evening. Hart didn’t waste any time before immediately working to establish a connection with her audience, interacting with fans as she sang her way in from the back of the venue while her band set the mood with the opening track Don’t Explain. It was also apparent that trying out new material from the upcoming album Fire on the Floor (US available date 2/3/17) was an important focus as the upbeat Let’s Get Together was the second song of the evening. The 2-hour performance flowed nicely and was well thought out with entertaining breakouts and a good balance between ballads and rockers.

Hart looked classy in a black top fashioned after a pinstripe suit coat, but also showed off her edgier side, accessorizing with fire engine red stiletto heels. She genuinely seemed invested in the performance and the new material particularly felt fresh and meaningful.  Her signature vibrato came across with purpose and refinement on fun tracks like Bang Bang Boom Boom, and her skilled dynamic control made ballads such as Baddest Blues hard hitting and heart felt.  Most of the evenings material was performed with Hart’s usual band: Jon Nichols (guitar), Bob Marinelli (bass), Bill Ransom (drums and percussion). Hart also had some standout moments performing solo at the piano for Mama This One’s for You and Leave the Light On. There was also an acoustic breakout where Hart played guitar with the boys for The Ugliest House on the Block and standout St. Theresa. The regular set ended on a high with I’d Rather Go Blind (dedicated to her father-in-law) and was followed up with a 4-song encore.

In summary, this show was absolutely first rate and just like last time left me wishing I could go back the next night and do it all over again. Props to Sue McLean and Associates for making these exceptional shows happen in the Twin Cities!

 

Set List:

Don’t Explain

Let’s Get Together

If I Tell You I Love You

I’ll Take Care of You

Love Gangster

Bang Bang Boom Boom

Mama This Ones for You

Baddest Blues

Lift’s You Up

Delicious Surprise

Close to My Fire

LA Song

Mama This One’s for You

I Leave the Light On

The Ugliest House on the Block

Broken and Ugly

Unknown

St. Theresa

I’d Rather Go Blind

Encore:

Skin

Woman You’ve Been Dreaming Of

We’re Still Living in the City

As Long as I Have a Song

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