WAS IT ALL A DREAM WITH NORAH JONES?
Treading on partially wet grounds for my first concert-going experience at the west side of Singapore, The Star Performing Arts Centre served as a blooming fresh outlet for events of sorts. Despite the grandeur of the new environs, it was let down somewhat by the spectacle of snaking (really year of the snake, isn’t it?) queue lines at the ticketing counter .
Entering late unintentionally, I was treated with the country folk roots of Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons, made up of Adriel Harris and Cory himself. It was a rather heart-warming reception, especially so for an act little known of in this region of the world (they were formed in 2004, and consisted of more past than existing members), and of a genre tied deep in traditional American roots (perhaps with the fair portion of foreigners in the audience, it was not hard to reason why).
Appearing in a pretty petite red dress was none other than the star of the night herself, Ms. Jones, playing hits from her much hyped Grammy award-winning 2002 debut Come Away With Me to her recent venture into the growing catalogue of indie pop and heartbreak love zone. With a discography of 5 full-length albums, she wasted no time in delivering song after song, with minimal crowd conversations except to inform everyone how jetlagged she felt.
Live, Jones’s vocals sounded as clear and crisp as her records do, and I believe I have other less credible singers to be more suspicious about live performances. For the lucky group of approximately 5,000 gathered for the night to watch this little starling, the segregation between us showed – majority were fond of her adult contemporary, country-jazz roots and her earlier popular tunes like “Don’t Know Why” and “What Am I To You”; a selection went to those infatuated with her recent indie credibility; and the rest of us caught in between.
Besides the recognizable hits of her commercial and indie crossover success, the breakdown segment of “Sunrise”, “How Many Times” and “Creepin’ In” stripped down simplistically with acoustic instruments was a good initial round-up of her hour-long affair, before returning to perform an encore with the last song of the night — “Come Away With Me”.
We would, Norah, we would, if we could.
Thanks to Paula Robinson/Midas Promotions for making this review possible.