After an absence of more than three years, Beth Hart made a very welcome and much-anticipated return to the Windy City.
Beth Hart returned to her usual Chicago haunt, Park West, for a show that was originally scheduled for September 2018. After a couple of postponements, she more than made it up to the Chicago fans with an extended show. Usually, her solo shows are a lot shorter than this one, but Beth started the show by apologizing profusely for her delayed return to the city, and to make up for it she performed an incredible 27 songs. There was no apology needed as the crowd was clearly just excited to be there and experience the impressive vocals in person.
You’ll often hear people talk about certain singers saying they have the best voice they’ve ever heard. Beth’s voice is a truly unique one that combines elements of rock, blues, and gospel to name just a few. It takes a lot for a solo artist to take to the stage and hold everyone’s silent attention, but Hart’s voice commands such respect. The range and power are there when needed, without sounding like someone who is shouting and running scales for the sheer hell of it. If the hairs on the back of your neck don’t stand up the moment you hear her voice, then there’s something seriously wrong.
The trials and tribulations that Hart has encountered throughout her life have been well documented and discussed, so let’s not delve into that further. It’s fair to say she wears her heart on her sleeve these days and pours the hurt and anguish into her extremely personal and soul-bearing lyrics. As much as that will have an element of therapeutic relief for her, it must also be a nerve-wracking thing to do putting your whole life out there. It must have been particularly difficult for her to sing the highly emotive “Sister Dear” which she penned after a therapy session with her older sister, who was in attendance at the Chicago show.
It’s astonishing to think that someone with such an abundance of talent can still feel nervous on stage, however that is exactly how Beth feels when she performs these solo shows. The moment she mentioned she felt this way, the audience rallied behind her with cheers of encouragement. She could have easily had the stage filled with band members, but with that voice, you’d be excused for not noticing them. There was certainly no need for nerves and no evidence of them within the performance itself.
Beth Hart will always have the support of the Chicago fans, but here’s hoping we won’t need to wait another three years to do it all again. For now, the lengthy set did an excellent job of giving everyone their fix.BETH HART
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