A common perception may be that gaining exposure on a nationally televised singing competition should set you on a simple path forward to a successful career in music. In truth, only a handful of the many people we’ve been introduced to by this platform have been able to truly reach that next level in this ever-changing industry. Haley Reinhart is one of those success stories with a very active post-American Idol journey that afforded her a chance to dip her toes in several genres.
In addition to recording her own music, Reinhart has established a significant presence on social media, had songs tied to commercials & television shows and had the vision to work on exposure building projects like Postmodern Jukebox and The Capitol Studios Sessions (Jeff Goldblum). She continues to gain momentum and grow her fan-base with music charting on Pop, Adult Contemporary and Jazz charts and has achieved a variety of awards and other notable industry recognition. The recent release of her third album “Low Fi Soul” may well be the destination she’s been working towards as it feels genuine and appears to be a good representation of how she has evolved artistically.
Reinhart’s St. Paul performance (4/15) at the Amsterdam Hall in support of this new material was a testament of how far she’s come and the potential that still lies ahead. Her 18 song / 90-minute set included songs all the way back to her first album plus some of the big covers that have done very well on YouTube. Reinhart continues to be fully committed to her vintage crusade, done up in attire you’d associate with the glamorous days of old Hollywood.
“How we doing guys … Let’s go!” was enough direction to get things rolling with “Deep Water”, a solid lead-off tune built around an aggressive chorus that Reinhart nailed with ease. Anxious to dive into new material, the album and tour’s title track came next and possesses a sound that absolutely embodies its name. “I can already tell this is going to be a fun night” validated the crowd’s enthusiasm, which seemed to increase steadily as the evening progressed. Reinhart gave a shout out to her 5-piece band she charmingly refers to as “The Boys”, who gifted her with a vintage microphone to use at her hometown show the evening prior in Chicago. It was the perfect accessory and provided amazing sound for a sassy version of “Honey, There’s the Door”. The band really found its stride during “Follow Me (I’m Right Behind You)”, which cleverly morphed into “Seven Nation Army” (Jack White) and featured the first of several attention-grabbing guitar solos.
“I wrote this song about 8 years ago and finally found the record I want to put it on” was her sentiment leading into “Lay It Down”, that was performed with voice and keyboard only. It was the evenings prettiest melody and allowed Reinhart to show off her upper register chops. Another unique vocal skill she has mastered is the ability to summon up some gritty tone at will, with the best example happening throughout “Oh Damn”. She saved her gold and platinum earning cover of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” (Elvis Presley) until nearly the end, which certainly gave chills and was worth the wait. The audience did not hesitate to communicate their approval, chanting “Haley, Haley …” matched with strong applause and were rewarded with a 3-song encore that included her popular cover of “Creep” (Radiohead).
Supporting act: Jennah Bell
Honey, There’s the Door
Follow Me (I’m Right Behind You)
Lay It Down
Crack the Code
Good or Bad
Can’t Help Falling In Love
Don’t Know How to Love You
Review and photos by Patrick Dunn