Sara Bareillis Amidst Positivity at Excel Energy Center

It’s always interesting to watch an artist’s progression from discovery to stadium tour. I remember being blown away by the over sustained note Sara Bareilles builds to during “Gravity” the first time I saw her perform as an opening act in a small Twin Cities venue. That was the perfect experience to draw me in as a fan, but how does that translate to this town’s best and biggest stage, the Excel Energy Center?

For this “Amidst the Chaos” tour stop, I was pleased to discover the show was set-up theater style – essentially reducing the venue size while still offering big production sound and lighting. A more intimate feeling environment better suited over-all song selection, packed with songs from the new T Bone Burnett produced album, which has a moodier vibe.

Bareilles shared her enthusiasm from what sounds to have been a great day in St. Paul with a rewarding visit to the Children’s Hospital capped off by a crowd of devoted fans anxious to hear her perform. “Fire” was a great choice to start things off and her vocal tone sounded fresh and strong. She effectively utilized big hit “Love Song” early in the show to lightened things up and energize the crowd. A playful version of “If I Can’t Have You” with special guest Emily King showcased two great voices and was a stand-out. “Let the Rain”, “King of Anything”, “Brave” ramped up as powerful trio leading to “Orpheus”, my favorite new song. The 2-song encore was driven by power ballad “Gravity” and “Saint Honestly” sending off fans with a message of hope for the future.

Set-List
Orpheus (music intro)
Fire
Poetry by Dead Men
Eyes On You
I Choose You
Love Song
Armor
If I Can’t Have You (w/ Emily King)
Miss Simone
Soft Place to Land
You Matter to Me
Bad Idea
She Used to Be Mine
Uncharted
No Such Thing / Satellite Call
Let the Rain
King of Anything
Brave
Orpheus
Encore
Gravity
Saint Honestly

Review and photos by Patrick Dunn