This week, for your reading enjoyment, we have compiled critical reviews of live performances from Cher in Ottawa; Billie Eilish in Auckland, New Zealand; Panic! At The Disco in Manchester, England; Joan Baez in St. Louis; Leon Bridges in Miami Beach, Fla.; and Rainbow Kitten Surprise in Wilmington, N.C.
Scott Legato / Scottlegato.com – Cher
Cher performs at Little Casears Arena in Detroit, Feb. 12, another diva with a major Vegas residency.
Cher @ Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, April 24 – “Well, a lot of grannies were in the crowd, reliving memories of the last 50 years through an impressive catalogue of pop hits that flashed back to the Sonny and Cher days, captured a modern dance beat and included a few irresistible ABBA numbers, all delivered by a woman with an undeniable flair for showmanship, who still looks terrific in her form-fitting costumes. It was a great show.” – Lynn Saxberg / Ottawa Citizen
Billie Eilish @ Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, April 24 – “On Wednesday night, teens were being rescued from the mosh pit before the show had even started, and when the set kicked off with the bass-heavy Bad Guy, the screams were deafening.
“It was unclear how Eilish’s particular style would play out in a live arena show, but she has so much energy and attitude that even slow songs feel like bangers.” – Siena Yates / New Zealand Herald
Panic! At The Disco @ Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, April 25 – “Less enjoyable by far was Urie’s tendency to insert overly-high notes into as many songs as possible. Although he certainly has a wide range, he frequently lost musicality when reaching the highest notes he sang, leaving an unfortunate resemblance to screeching rather than singing. The presence of this tunelessness was very distracting from the skill shown in the remainder of the set; variation from the original tracks was interesting and showed skill when done in other ways, but the insistence on attempting to reach a pitch which Urie didn’t seem aware was just slightly outside his range was frustrating.” – Eleanor Roberts @ The Mancunion
Joan Baez @ The Pageant in St. Louis, Mo., April 22 – “Her 100-minute performance was nostalgic, especially for longtime fans. But it wasn’t purely a look backward, as some of the best material Baez played was from her most recent album, last year’s Whistle Down the Wind.” – Daniel Durchholz / St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Leon Bridges @ Fillmore Miami Beach At Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach, Fla., April 19 – “I love artists that modify and amplify their songs for live settings, and in this regard, Bridges certainly delivered. Extended intros, outros and breaks elevated his songs beyond their original form on record. The first indication that Bridges was going to have some fun with his songs rather than stick to the original versions came early, with a high-energy, sped-up version of Good Thing highlight ‘Bad Bad News.’”— James Biagiotti / boca
Rainbow Kitten Surprise @
Greenfield Lake Amphitheatrehe in Wilmington, N.C., April 23 – “RKS has a charismatic frontman in the bearded, shaven-headed Melo, an intriguing vocalist who can segue from a breathy falsetto croon into slippery raps or haunting harmonies with band mates Darrick “Bozzy” Keller (guitar, vocals), Ethan Goodpaster (guitar) and Charlie Holt (bass). (Drummer Jess Haney rounds out the band.)” – John Staton / StarNews Online