Concert Reviews

Beth Hart (Dublin 2020) Hot

Written by Central Electronic Brain     April 25, 2020    
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Beth Hart - Vicar Street, Dublin (Ireland) - 31 January 2020

What better way is there to dropkick the January blues than a night with Californian songstress Beth Hart. The stunning talent who effortlessly glides through Blues, Jazz and Rock genres with all conquering ease landed back in the famed South Dublin venue an even bigger name than when she last visited these shores two years ago. With Hart attracting a varied age group from what looked like twenty-five to take your pick, the venue's ground floor was a stool/table formation. And that only added to the buzz as the intimacy factor played a key role all night.

As the lights dimmed, the candle-lit stage came into full effect, her trusted band took their positions and then out raced a geared-up Hart in a snazzy red jacket, back breaking heels, and went to work. It didn't take long for her to weave her magic, after she declared her love for Irish blood sausage, the smoky tones of 'Your Heart Is As Black As Night' immediately had the mind, body and soul of every punter as soon as the first syllables left her lips. With a new album fresh in people's minds, the new tunes sounded young and virile, first up the hair raising 'Rub Me For Luck', with its Bond theme-like tones seductively resonating around the room. Then the punchy 'Bad Woman Blues' ramped up the temperature and no doubt accelerated a few heartbeats with Hart's raunch-packed delivery.

The jacket came off for a version of Tom Waits 'Chocolate Jesus' with Hart's ivory tickling taking the crowd on a giddy ride. After she evoked her father's days as a high roller on the Vegas strip with a funky 'Try A Little Harder', the evening took an emotionally euphoric turn. As a lady in the audience came to the stage with a bouquet of flowers, Hart's face was a picture as it turned out it was her sister Susan who had made a surprise visit to Dublin.

In comparison to its stirring studio counterpart, latest album title track 'War In My Mind' in the live domain is a completely different animal. A powerful, laid bare story of personal turmoil was heroically performed and willingly absorbed by everyone in the building.

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A chunky slab of Gospel R&B with 'Spirit Of God' got 1,200 "Amen"s from the Catholic branded Irish who lapped up the sinful grooves.

The second half of the show was a more low-key affair. The band departed and Hart went it alone, strapping on an acoustic bass for 'Learning To Live', bringing a transfixed crowd into her inner sanctum. She had nearby big sis in tears with 'Sister Dear', and the embrace that followed said it all. Manager, and most importantly loving husband Scott Guetzkow, wasn't forgotten about either, 'My California' was sent in his direction, and no sooner had the song finished then he was straight out to grab his missus. With time against her, there was no false ending, the band returned and sumptuous dispatches of 'My Baby Shot Me Down' and another newbie 'Spanish Lullabies' both hit captivating highs, despite the race against the curfew. Needless to say, the standing ovation as Hart and Co. took their bows literally shook the foundations, and the safety blanket that is her band deserved much of that adulation. The trio of guitarist Jon Nichols, drummer Bill Ransom and bassist Tom Lily didn't put a foot wrong, providing the perfect foil for their boss's majestic voice.

If you ever wondered why people fall head over heels in love with music, tonight will have given you the answer.

Brian Boyle

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