Where are my Sara Bareilles fans out there? Those who’ve been listening to the incredible vocalist and songwriter since 2007’s Little Voice can go ahead and skip to buying your “Amidst the Chaos” Tour tickets. Because if you’ve been following her career, you know there is only one answer to the question of seeing Sara Bareilles when she goes on tour.
Now, who are my Sara Bareilles fans out there who’ve been slightly confused by her Broadway ventures? Who’ve been waiting patiently since 2013 for Bareilles to release a new studio album—to wake up and find more than a few drippings from the Waitress songbook on the artist’s Spotify page?
Let’s go back a little. Shortly after 2013’s The Blessed Unrest it was announced that Bareilles would be scoring the musical adaptation of Waitress. Then, she was enlisted to take the Broadway stage herself in the Waitress role of Jenna Hunterson. Last Easter, Bareilles appeared on the stripped-down, NBC “concert adaptation” of Jesus Christ Superstar as the role of Mary Magdalene. This venture landed Bareilles both a Grammy and Emmy nomination, solidifying her success in the Broadway realm. Fans were beginning to wonder: Would Sara Bareilles ever return to make another studio album?
Finally, nearly five months after the lead single “Armor“, Sara Bareilles dropped Amidst the Chaos. Though some fans were disappointed from the lack of piano-driven ballads and contagious pop moments, Amidst the Chaos largely appeases those who’ve been waiting for her next release. Especially after she performed “Fire” and “Saint Honesty” for the Saturday Night Live viewership, reminding fans of all kinds: This artist shines brightest, live.
Amidst the Chaos exemplifies Bareilles’ ear for melody and her mezzo-soprano sensitivity. The lyrics are largely survival narratives: Surviving politics, break-ups, chaos, and being a woman. In a growing canon of albums seeking to encapsulate the times, Amidst the Chaos is an honest effort, rich with present emotion. It’s an LP that shows us—even though Bareilles has been sequestered off in the Broadway realm for some years now—she’s deepened her empathy, and skill.
Now, for those who’ve forgotten, Sara Bareilles has been an incredible live performer for over a decade. Not to mention how her latest Broadway ventures may have fortified her onstage presence. Could Sara Bareilles be even more captivating live than she was, let’s say, during this mash-up of “Love on the Rocks” and “Bennie and the Jets”?
Do we wish we could hear more of Bareilles piano expertise on Amidst the Chaos? Yes. But will we hear plenty of piano and vintage Bareilles on the “Amidst the Chaos” Tour? Definitely. Bareilles knows who she is, what she loves, and the instrument she needs to execute her extensive catalog of both original and adapted songs. There will be a piano. There will be soulful covers. There will be Sara Bareilles, sitting there amidst the chaos of a live concert, ushering us with her unimpeachable voice through what will be a remarkable show.
Will “Amidst the Chaos” be one of the best concert tours in 2019? Is the grass green? Do stars shine at night? Yes, yes, and yes.