Friday, August 30, 2013

8/29/13 The Sara Bareilles Concert at Red Rocks

I am destined to misspell and correct Sara's last name in perpetuity. 

"I before E, except after C, and sometimes Y." But not in Bareilles. (Or Kaleidescope.)

This was Sara's first time at Red Rocks. She was sharing the venue with One Republic with opener Serena Ryder, which I'll happily pay for if it means I get to listen to her voice float across the Rocks. We were pretty sure she'd lead off, which meant we could get home and let the One-R fans fight the traffic without us. 

I'd put on a 3/4 sleeve shirt and vest and wondered if I wasn't going to be a bit uncomfortable before the sun went down. Sam was in a t-shirt but grabbed her mid-weight jacket, reasoning she could use it to sit on. Both of us were not prepared for the gale force winds that were awaiting us, but we could have been much less prepared than we were.

We got to Upper North around 5:45 and were in the last row before they closed it off. Gates opened right at 6:00 and we were through the top gates/bag check by 6:40. Since there were conflicting times on when Serena would be kicking things off (tickets said 7:00, Ticketmaster page said 8:00) we really weren't sure how busy things would be at that point.  

It turned out to be pretty quiet, with almost entirely empty upper general admission rows. But the wind was fierce. As I'd gotten out of the car and my hair had basically stood straight up and done the wild Medusa dance, I'd grabbed my omnipresent hat from the dashboard and plopped it on my head. Now I was holding that hat down on my head as we made our way across the top row (69) to get to dead center (66). Luckily, sitting down with our backs to the small wall that elevates handicapped row 70 above us, we were able to get out of the worst of it, which cut way down on the wind shear so I could put my hand down from my head. 

When I stepped back up to the top to grab us the Sara sweatshirt (to share), it was hand-on-the-head routine again the entire time. There was one guy in the merchandise tent tasked with just sitting on the table and holding the cross bar to keep the tent from blowing away. We'd decided on the sweatshirt because 1) it's Colorado, so much more upcoming wearability, 2) the two t-shirts Sara had for sale had were either an 80s throwback crop version (um, no.) and a gray one with her name and a cuss word emblazoned across it (um, no.) and 3) My shirt and vest was not warm enough this evening. 

I pulled the sweatshirt over the shirt, which wasn't the greatest look on earth but it did warm me up. Between that and the wall breaking much of the wind, it was comfortable. We'd spread out a blanket across our two seats and tried taking a couple of pictures. After I leaned over next to Sammi for the first one, she yelled, "Ow!!! And grabbed her arm." Apparently a bee or wasp decided to get smushed between us at the moment and stung her. So our first attempt at a picture was this:

Luckily, she is not allergic (to anything) and other than a sore arm and a pretty welt around the puncture, she was okay.

Re-attempt on the photo together... by this time Sam has pulled on her heavy jacket.

As they were setting up the stage for Sara's set with her baby grand, we had some beautiful colors in the sky. She took the stage at 8:00 and played for an hour.

The light as she took the stage to open with "Once Upon Another Time" off her EP from last year.

Once upon another time
Before I knew which life was mine
Before I left the child behind me
I saw myself in summer nights
And stars lit up like candle light

She followed that with "Eden" off her newest album from this summer. (Eden is a thinly veiled reference to Los Angeles, which she recently left to move to Manhattan) 
before addressing the crowd, which included taking a picture from the stage. So cute.

If you squint, maybe you can see us ;)

Next up, "Cassiopeia", also off the new album. and I must still be old-school because I think of it as another song "off the B-side" since it's track 6.  (Eden is track 8). I'm not sure too much of the Greek myth plays into her lyrics here. It is a interesting little tune and, for some reason I can't quite put my finger on, ridiculously fun to harmonize to. 

So she sighs and she burns with desperation
Learns to cry over love of constellations

After two new songs, she followed up with "Many the Miles" off of Little Voice and then "Love Song" from the same album and her first big breakout hit, which explains why the largely One Republic crowd didn't start to completely warm up and and belt it out with her until this point. 

She got back to the new album with "Little Black Dress", which is an empowerment song, of sorts, about getting pretty and dancing despite a broken heart, and then headed into what is doubtless going to be the Sara B Wedding track choice, "I Choose You" for those that aren't needing their little black dress (at the moment.)

I had wrestled with trying to go see Sara in May when she came through the smaller venues doing a solo/acoustic show, so it was a delight to hear her stick with that sound on "Uncharted", which is another of her beautifully lyrical songs stripped down.

She went back to the current stuff with the saddest song of the album, "Manhattan" 

You can have Manhattan,
The one we used to share,
The one where we were laughing,
And drunk on just being there.
Hang on to the reverie
Could you do that for me?
Cause I’m just too sad to.
You can have Manhattan
Cause I can’t have you.

To keep things on the slow side, she broke out"Gravity" to our delight. Fabulous song that I was not expecting to hear live -- first song from her debut album, almost a decade ago. That one note alone can break your heart. 

To liven things the end of the set, she launched into her current radio hit, "Brave" which is both Sam and my second-favorite song off the album. 
It's kind of our Mother-Daughter song. 

She closed out the set with the impossible-not-to-sing-along-with "King of Anything"  that got everybody on their feet. I didn't hit record fast enough to catch her saying, "This is for all of you with a douche-bag in your life."

After they exited and then returned for Sam and my favorite song off the album as the encore (see previous post for that one) we hightailed it out for the night. 

Clearly, I am an unabashed fan-girl of Sara, so if I were to create my perfect concert playlist, it would have also included another dozen or so, because, ya know, the girl can sing, surely, for another 90 minutes straight, just to make me happy? 

"Red" (a line from which is my blog's subtitle)

"Not Alone" (sampling Hitchcock? brilliant.)

"Fairytale" Go and tell your white knight that he's Hansel in hindsight

"Gonna Get Over You"  I'm not the girl that I intend to be, But I dare you, darlin', just you wait and see

"Hold My Heart"  I see the end sneaking in behind your eyes, Saying things no words could ever do

"Responsible" I can't blame you for the strength you lack, Scared to give me what you may not get back 

"Send Me the Moon" I can live with your ghost, If you say that's the most that I'll get 

"Breathe Again" what kind of heart doesn't look back?

"Between the Lines" So I've learned to listen through silence

"Let the Rain" And I always felt it before, that the world was filled with much more than the drowning soul I've learned to be, I just need the rain to remind me...

On the way through the parking lot, we were the only people around and a deer suddenly appeared in front of us. She must have been sauntering across the parking lot from the hills that surrounded it and literally seemed to materialize out of thin air. We were startled. She was startled. We just kind of took each other in, not two feet between us, before she darted around, jumped the fence, and high tailed it up the other hill. In the dark, with the music still floating on the air, it was magical. 


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