Thursday, December 02, 2004

HEAR: Sara Bareilles

Finally managed to get into the Hotel Cafe last night. Once inside, I finally understood why the last show I attempted to get into was sold out. The bloody place is the size of a living room!

My friend Julie invited me to go see Sara Bareilles perform with her band. I never heard of her before and didn't really know what to expect. Julie simply told me she was a singer-songwriter, so I expected something of a Sarah McLachlan wannabe. Well, my assumption was proven awry as soon as Sara Bareilles opened her mouth to sing. What I heard was a strong, stunning voice with a whole lot of presence. I was very impressed by this white girl who boldly belted out songs like a soulful diva. Sara's music is where jazz, pop, R&B, soul, blues and rock convene to produce a sound that is very pleasing to the ear. I didn't care too much for her mellow, sentimental ballads - they're pretty to listen to at the first hearing but I get bored with these type of songs really quick. She did, however, a rather sweet cover of "Time After Time" that I really liked. But the real gems were the bluesy numbers that make you let loose and just sway to the undulating notes that come hard and fast at you.

Sara is also a very talented songwriter. I rarely pay attention to lyrics but the ones she penned definitely called my attention.

For some mysterious reason, she reminds me of Stevie Wonder. Maybe it's the keyboard or the sunny sound in her music.

Anyway, Sara has residency at the Hotel Cafe for the rest of September on Wednesday evenings at 9 p.m. She is definitely worth checking out. I paid a $6 cover, which I'm assuming will remain the same for the rest of the month.

Warning: Being a small venue, bodies are sandwiched here like sardines. Watch out for spilling drinks.

1623 1/2/ N. Cahuenga Blvd. (just south of Hollywood Blvd.)
Los Angeles, CA 90028 323-461-2040

::5 stars::