Leading up to last nights show, my excitement levels were sky high. A woman that I deeply admire who has one of the best voices in the business (not to mention she was one of the first Elphaba’s) and finally I had the pleasure of seeing her perform live.
As I entered what they call The Singers Lounge in a darkly lit downstairs area of Pizza Express in Covent Garden, you could feel that there was already a buzz in the room. As the place slowly filled out to the third sold out show of Shoshana’s 3 day stint, you could tell that the show was going to be something special. Upon taking my seat on one of the candlelit tables, I noticed that just a few metres in front of me, the American singer was sat. With the glow from the fairy lights, illuminating her face, the singer was all smiles as she sat with friends, preparing for the show ahead.
Before she started to perform, she interacted with the crowd by saying something on the lines of “This is the last show of three, so fuck it. Let’s do it” so you could already tell that we were in for a treat. The singing then began and that first note echoed through the microphone, everyone just sat in complete ore. The raspiness and tone of her voice is something so unique/special which is evidence as to why she’s had such a successful career so far. The whole venue from the audience members to the waitresses/bar staff were just so fixated on her and it was a great moment to be apart of. For someone with the talent she has, the small/intimate venue just fit the mark perfectly.They called her to the stage just before 9pm and as she made her way, the audience gave her the loudest welcome I think that small venue has ever had. The show hadn’t even started yet and the crowd were already so involved. As a performer, I can only imagine that, that sort of encouragement is a dream. Especially if you’ve crossed the ocean to perform in a place that isn’t home and get to perform to sell out crowds.
“If you’re brave enough, the quickest way out is always through and what’s waiting on the other side of that, is always so worth going through the shit”
The night involved a collection of her own songs mixed with a few covers, one being “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift in which she took a complete different take on the song with Luke Higgins joining her on guitar. Luke is also a singer/songwriter so as an exclusive, Shoshana sang with him on one of this original songs from his forthcoming EP (out early 2016) a song for his Sister which was so beautiful and well written. To add to this she also had a special guest in the form of Vula, a friend of hers with a cracking personality. This leaded to an all singing riff off to Whitney Houston’s classic “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”. Girlband Houston, also joined to sing back-up on a couple of tracks, as well as sing a cover of Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” which blew the house down. For me, the most inspiring moment was when Bean sang Start Tomorrow. In which she gave a speech to motivate anyone that is starting something new on this gloomy Monday. Asking the audience to join in with the song, basically saying you can do whatever the day brings you and you will kill it. It’s moments like that, that makes the show so personal and in my opinion, there isn’t anything better than that atmosphere.
I feel like I entered the room with a need/expectation to leave in a good/inspired mood and I left feeling above and beyond that need. With words of wisdom/encouragement, I felt like I could actually take something away of high value from the show. Nearer the end she started to get quite emotional and you can see how much passion she had for the performance she was giving. To say that she killed it would be an understatement. She SLAYED and trust me, this woman can SANNNNNGG.
“So tomorrow’s Monday, is anyone starting anything new tomorrow? This is for all of the starter tomorrow’s. We’re making a pact right now. Whatever we’re starting, we’re fucking finishing it. You hear me”
Even though she started on Broadway and some people probably just associate her with that, this show was just purely her. She’s a fantastic songwriter, performer and has such a natural stage presence. Her music, her voice, her foundations shone through. The comedic side of her personality, added fun and lightheartedness to the evening and it really was her time to shine. Her riffs are out of this world and she’s one of the best vocalists I’ve ever heard.
After the show, I was lucky enough to meet with the star, in which she was so gracious and appreciative which was great. Selling copies of her previous albums and interacting with the crowds as the night drew to a close.
Overall the show was fantastic and the perfect way to end a busy week. If you get the chance to see Shoshana when she’s next in town, I recommend you do because it’s not one to be missed.