Beth Hart Oxford New Theatre 18-4-18
Living only 4 miles from Oxford this was surprisingly my first visit to The New Theatre ( back in the day of my first gig in 1983 it was the Apollo) since Thunder in 1990.
First up was three quarter's of The Kris Barras Band playing an acoustic set after the recent release of the superb The Divine & Dirty cd.
2 tracks from 2016's Lucky 13 cd Heart On Your Sleeve and I Got Time started the 30 minute set which show cased Kris's great vocal tone and large range with no loss of melody even when at full roar.Very impressive.
The new album then took centre stage with Propane and the wonderful Hail Mary being greeted by the crowd with huge applause.What I loved also was the electric guitar sound used for the mid song solo's with Kris showing superb technique and tone with his solo's fluid and only adding to the ambience of the song.
Watching Over Me showed some real emotion in playing and vocal terms with the song about Kris's dad who passed a little while ago and who was Kris's inspiration to play guitar and who played bass in the band too.
Rock N'Roll Running Through My Veins was an uptempo end to his set leaving us wanting more and looking forward to seeing the full band electric set shortly.
Beth Hart like her compatriot Joe Bonamassa never stop's the never ending road work and after last year's solo show's where we saw her at Coventry Cathedral this was back to the full band shows.
For 100 minute's we ran the full gamut of emotion's from despair,hope,laughter,love and companionship as Beth takes you on a roller coaster through her soul and produce's a world class performance that few on the planet can match.
Here is the set list with a couple of unknown song's to me that if anyone can fill please let me know.
Close To The Fire
As Good As It Gets
Lay Your Hands On Me
Falling In Love More Every Day
I Love You More Than You Will Ever Know
Leave The Light On
Mama This One's For You
As Long As I Have A Song
Encores of Baby Shot Me Down
Love Is A Lie
Woman You've Been Dreaming Of
Fire On The Floor
With her superb backing band on wonderful form Jon Nichols (guitar), Bob Marinelli (bass) and Bill Ransom (drums) excellent sound and a great light show Beth after a recent dose of food poisoning was on fire from the word go.
Sinner's Prayer was a great opener with Beth showing off her full range.She let's the music take over her being and every eye in the venue never leaves her as her voice portray's every nuance of the song and tell's a story as only the great performer's are able to.
Jon Nichols with his guitar down low hit's the first of many great guitar solo's all picked note's and full of bluesy emotion.
We all love the in between song stories that Beth tell's all showing how far she fell and how with the love of music and her beloved Scott and no ego how much she get's from being able to do something she loves so much.We all should be very grateful to them too as she soar's above the competition on a pedestal of one.
The set has different parts being full band with Beth just singing.She then takes her seat at the piano for a few song's before a mid set acoustic part with Beth on guitar and then bass before the stage is left to Beth alone the piano and her voice.
She is happy to re start one song while on guitar as she was behind the band and then on bass mid song she sings an apology for her terrible note's.
Every song is a highlight as she pores all she has into every note she leaves nothing fro another day.A smile is never far from her lips and the rapport with her band mates is a joy for all to see.
I Love You More Than You Will Ever Know saw her venture into the crowd with help from Scott and the audience as her sky scraper heels worn and ok due to the adrenaline!!
She was hugged,high fived and she got flower's too and the vocal she gave was mesmerising and had the hair's on your neck stood to attention.
Saved from her new cd with Joe Black Coffee was an energetic stage returner before the wonderful story of her house Ugliest House had smiles everywhere.
Beth loved the audience call out for Isolation rather than a happy song before she sat alone at the piano for a 3 song tour de force of Leave The Light On,Mama's This One's For You and As Long As There Is A Song where the sheer emotion and feeling she put's into a song shone through as we all watched in awe as she lay's her soul bare.Wonderful.
A 4 song encore that included last cd's Fire On The Floor and Love Is a Lie and a stunning vocal on Woman You've Been Dreaming Of brought the evening to a close.
Beth Hart is a phenomenon and we all travel that journey with her.
Her UK tour concludes at a sold out Albert Hall in 2 weeks time and with dates across the UK in that time do yourself a favour and witness the greatest female singer on the planet.