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Review: Sara Bareilles’ quirkiness charms Monday’s audience

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- Courtesy of Epic Records Publicity
Sara Bareilles impressed the crowd with her vocal range and quirky comments Monday at the Uptown Ampitheatre.

If you’d walked into Uptown Amphitheatre Monday night, you might have confused it for a coffee shop.

The crowd was swaying, the musician was quirky and full of life, and the acoustics were warm.

The only thing missing: the coffee shop.

Sara Bareilles, known for hit singles like 2007’s “Love Song” and 2013’s “Brave,” brought the coffee-shop vibe outdoors for her “Little Black Dress” tour Monday.

She brought a little bit of the old, new and unknown with her, and the crowd loved every minute of it. Bareilles was continuously in tune with her audience: When she stood on stage, they stood. When she laughed, they laughed.

And her banter with her fans was both colorful and charming. At one point, she ad-libbed: “Do you all have mosquitoes here? Something’s happening to my legs ...” At another, she joked: “Who here has their little black dress on? I love showing up to the party wearing the same things as everyone else.”

Bareilles’ set was filled with variety. She performed nine songs from 2013’s “The Blessed Heart,” nine from older albums (including “Love Song” and “Gravity”), and sneak peeks into her current projects – like “She Used to Be Me,” from Bareilles’ upcoming score for the musical adaptation of the 2007 film “Waitress.”

Music videos and animated scenes were projected onto the screen behind Bareilles for key songs, hyping up the audience’s energy. Her encore featured an a cappella version of “Bright Lights and Cityscapes.”

Bareilles and her two opening acts (Emily King and Hannah Georgas) constantly thanked the crowd, the crew and each other for being awesome and just for being themselves – creating a positive and enjoyable atmosphere.

Another highlight: “I Choose You,” a love song Bareilles told the audience was inspired by a man who came up to her after a show in Boston and told her he and his wife loved her music, but that it was all too sad to play at their wedding.

On Monday night, a young man proposed to his girlfriend as she sang the moving ballad. Upon realizing what was happening, Bareilles looked out at them from the stage and said: “Did you guys just get engaged?”

They nodded.

A surprised, overjoyed Bareilles yelled at the couple: “Tonight’s a dance party for you, then!”

Sabin: 704-358-6194; Twitter: @samsabin923
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