Beth Hart played at Zagreb’s Boogaloo Club on Friday, November 10, 2017.
Last Friday night, the vivacious and charismatic Beth Hart made her long and much-awaited debut appearance in Croatia and gave a stunning performance at the sold-out Boogaloo Club, Zagreb. The venue was ideal for her first gig here and was reminiscent of her early years and concerts; a compact stage decked out in her traditional carpeted floor allowing her to be close and personal with an enthusiastic audience.
This wasn’t just a tour promoting her latest album, Fire on the Floor; far from it.
The Grammy-nominated American blues singer was keen to show her full repertoire of musical talents with her passionate and expressive vocal range. Standing at the center of the stage, Beth opened with two bluesy covers. First was the uplifting For My Friend, originally by Bill Withers, followed by her mother’s favourite track Close to My Fire by the Slackwax
Her first change of style came next whilst seated at the piano with the Jazzy show time tune Swing My Thing Back Around from the Big Bang album, followed by Chocolate Jesus, a bluesy and bouncy Tom Waits cover which allowed her to demonstrate her powerful and hypnotic blues voice. She introduced the song by saying how she had first heard it while cruising around when she was 27 and hoped that one day she would get to play it.
Her musical versatility and the rare and genuine desire to connect and build a rapport with her audience was evident each time she sat center stage or played an acoustic track.
This was demonstrated by the emotional Isolation and her introduction of Today Came Home with “…so this song never made it on a record or anything. I just wrote it a long, long time ago and just sometimes end up playing it live. Maybe one day it’ll end up on record, I don’t know. We’re out here with you guys, playing for you; that’s all that matters”
Throughout the show Beth alternated between guitar and piano. She played lively blues and soulful jazz tracks such as Monkey Back, Baddest Blues, Jazzman, Coca-Cola and with just the yellow spotlights on her, Your Heart Is As Black As Night.
Her emotional and revealing songs were powerful; she was almost in tears by the end of Change Gonna Come, such was the commitment and power in her voice “God bless you, thank you so much, you’re such good listeners. Thank you so much”
In her early career, Beth led a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. Many of her songs have powerful and thought-provoking lyrics of painful relationships and drug and alcohol abuse. Although it’s great to listen to, thankfully that time has passed and she has successfully moved on and has found her love. This was most evident when Picture in a Frame, from her new album, was concluded and she was joined on stage by her husband Scott for a loving embrace.
Along with her band, Beth eloquently intertwined Blues, Soul and Jazz into her show. Her sultry, moody, raspy, and unique voice was evident for all to hear. But the burning questions are Does she still Rock? Does she still Roll? Does she still own the stage? The simple answer is Hell yeah.!!!
Can’t Let Go was lively and upbeat and Sick from the 37 Days album was introduced as “This is a little bit of a hard rock ‘n’ roll song. Are you guys up for it? Yeah? Are you gonna sing with me? All right, let’s do it”. It saw her grabbing the microphone stand, dancing evocatively, banging and kneeling down in front of the drums and delivering a powerful fiery performance before leaving the set and allowing Bill Ransom to complete a fine drum solo
With a final rendition of the Tina Turner classic Nutbush City Limits, Beth Hart and the band left the stage and retuned shortly for the encore. Under blue lights and glowing candles, Beth chose the title track from her latest album Fire on the Floor for the final song.
“You guys were awesome tonight. We’re so lucky to get to play for you. Thank you so much for your love and attention and energy”
To phenomenal applause and cheering Beth Hart and her band, bassist Bob Marinelli, lead guitarist Jon Nichols and drummer Bill Ransom took their bows.
Following this hugely successful concert, let’s hope we see this incredibly talented lady performing again very soon in Croatia.
Calendar of forthcoming music events and festivals in Pula
NEW…. 24.07.18 ~ Iron Maiden.. ~ Zagreb arena. www.eventim.hr
Ticket on general release form 24.11.17
Gibonni 21.10.17 ~ Zagreb arena www.ticketshop.hr
Morgan James 16.12.17 ~ The Boogaloo club www.ticketshop.hr
Rod Stewart ~ 02.02.18 ~ Zagreb arena ~ www.eventim.hr
Roger waters ~ 06.05.18 ~ Zagreb arena ~ www.eventim.hr
Festival dates confirmed for Pula
1st GoatHell Metal Fest ~ 21.06.18 ~ 24.06.18
The first metal festival to be held in Pula.
Confirmed line up so far, Sinister, Chaos Engine Research, Mortal Divinity, Old Night, Tranquillizer and Dropthehammer with much more to be added. Website and ticket info available soon
16th Seasplash ~ 19.07.18 ~ 22.07.18 ~ www.seasplash-festival.com
One of the longest-running festivals in Croatia brings together reggae / dub /punk / ska/ dancehall /dubstep / drum’n’bass / hip-hop / breakbeat / jungle and delves deep into the bass culture.
7th Dimensions festival ~ 29.08.18 ~ 02.09.18 ~ www.dimensionsfestival.com
Soulful electronic music spanning across House, Techno, Disco, Jazz, Funk, Soul, Drum & bass and much more as well as an amazing opening night concert held at Pula arena.
11th Outlook festival ~ 05.09.18 ~ 09.09.18 ~ www.outlookfestival.com
The largest Soundsystem Culture festival in Europe, Outlook brings together the biggest names from the most vibrant and cutting edge dance scenes around. This festival is preceded by an exceptional opening night concert held at Pula arena.