Last night I attended the Sara Bareilles concert at The Birchmere, which was quite appropriate for Valentine’s Week. She is one of my favorite singers because of her powerful voice, abilty to play both piano and guitar, the fact that she writes all her own songs and, above all, because her lyrics speak to me.
The opening act was Tony Lucca, who I had never heard of prior to last night, but whose music I really enjoyed. His music seems very similar to Sara’s (yes, we are on a first name basis) and he was such a good performer that he won over the crowd and recruited some new fans.
Sara was amazing, like I knew she would be. She added personality to the show, talking about her experience at the Grammy’s (where she swears Bono intended to throw his sunglasses to her even though the women sitting behind her caught them), joking about herself and her band, and explaing the stories behind the lyrics. She played her “well-known hits” (Love Song, Bottle It Up, Gravity) and some lesser-known favorites of yours truly (Vegas, Fairytale) as well as some completely new music.
Here’s about a minute of her live performance for those that may be unfamiliar with her music:
What I kept thinking throughout the concert (I blame the Blue Moon for these deep thoughts) was how full circle my music taste has come. Russian music is famous – well at least to me – for its use of piano / guitar and folk feel. These artists who I’ve discovered in recent years seem to all have those two aspects in common in their music.
When I was young, a favorite musical talent in my household of two (my mother and me) was Sergey and Tatyana Nikitin. I’ve included one of their most famous songs below, and even though most of you won’t understand the words and even though it does sound a little cheesy, I do think there are definitive similarities with the music I listened to in my youth and the music that I connect with currently.
The song is “Alexandra” from the movie Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears which was one of my favorite movies when I was little. (It’s actually a very acclaimed film and won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1980.) The story is of a single woman and her daughter who find great success in life even without a father figure in the family. (As a five year with divorced parents, this was quite a comfort to me.)
The lyrics begin:
Everything wasn’t built right away, Moscow wasn’t built right away
Moscow didn’t believe words, but believed love…
… Alexandra, this town is yours and mine…