Christina Perri at The Olympia Theatre – Photos and Review
On Wednesday the 18th of November I had the pleasure of going to see Christina Perri at the Olympia Theatre for her Head Or Heart Tour.
Doors opened at 7pm and people flooded into the sold out theatre, filling up the seats, boxes and standing area like moths to a flame. All of a sudden the theatre was filled with the hum of excited Perri fans waiting patiently for the opening act and for Christina herself to appear.
Ten past eight, the young brother/sister duo Natasha & Connor from Clare Castle, Co. Clare came on stage, Natasha Coughlan on vocals and playing the harp and Conor Coughlan on vocals. The crowd delighted in their original songs such as “The Hidden Truth”, “Next To You”, and “Bubble”, (One of my personal favourites from them that night) as well as their covers, such as “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt. Well practiced harmonies, Natasha’s talented harp playing and their quirky attitude really made them a great opening act, the crowd sad to see them go after their fifth song. It was great to see some fresh young Irish talent taking the stage and I can see them doing well in the future.
After a short break while the crew set up main band’s instruments onstage, the show resumed. 9 o’clock on the button, the ball of sunshine that is Christina Perri stepped onstage, (to an eruption of applause and cheers from the crowd) bursting into song with her band (Emily Grace on the keyboards, Elmo Lovano on drums, Jenni Tarma on bass and Johnny Hanson – or Johnny Handsome as the lead singer called him – on guitar).
Christina was wearing a white short sleeved blouse, a black skirt and a sparkly pair of tights that twinkled like the wall of lights that was draped across the back of the stage.
The night kicked off with her first songs, “Trust” and “Shot Me In The Heart”, breaking out the tambourine for “Shot Me In The Heart”. After that she sang “Arms” from her debut album, much to the excitement of the crowd, everyone singing along in the chorus. Then she got out her guitar and sang “Run”, followed by screams of joy when she cast her pick into the crowd, one adoring fan grabbing the tiny bit of plastic that probably meant the world to her.
In between random bursts of people screaming “I love you!” up at her, Christina told everyone how the Olympia was the first stop on her Head Or Heart Tour, and she was having a brilliant time, and was super excited. You could tell just how much fun she was having when she pulled out a ballerina pose at the end of her next song “Distance”, which once again had the whole crowd singing along. The atmosphere in the theatre for that one song was amazing. I got chills.
So after getting a few chants from the crowd, the artist sang “Burning Gold”, which had everyone’s hands in the air. After “Burning Gold”, she brought Emily Grace over to play piano while she sang her new single “The Words”, finishing to a huge applause from thaw crowd, who had been silent in admiration throughout the entire performance. For such a small person, Christina has a huge voice. The notes she can hit are amazing, and she is just as good (if not BETTER) live than she is on her albums.
After “The Words”, Christina sang a mix of Timbaland and One Republic’s “Apologise” and her song “Butterfly”, which mixed together perfectly. After that she talked to the crowd for a while (through more adoring screams of “I LOVE YOU CHRISTINA!”) about the things she loves that are Irish (Kodaline, Colin O’Donoghue etc.) and then pulled Johnny Hanson over for a duet of her song “Be My Forever”. I swear the chemistry between the two of them is perfect. They are adorable together, and their voices meld together just right. She then followed with “Lonely Child”, giving a confident performance combined with confident vocals.
It followed her hit “A Thousand Years”, which, when she announced it, had everyone screaming. Hands were in the air and everyone was singing at the top of their lungs to the hit, and she got her largest applause so far in the night after it. She followed up with a medley of Coldplay’s “Sky Full Of Stars” and her song “One Night,” then the very popular “Human”.
The next song was legitimately the best moment of the night. She sang her song “I Believe”, but just before the end of the song, she spoke to the crowd. She said that she knew that somewhere, someone in the crowd, someone wasn’t having a great day, and she wanted them, and any others like them to feel okay. So she divided the theatre into three, and each section had a piece to sing. When everyone started to sing the final lyrics together of “I Believe”, I felt so connected with everyone in the theatre at that moment… I was almost in tear. Hats one thing I love about Christina Perri: she really cares for her audience. In that moment I felt okay. Just okay with everything. It was perfect.
The artist then took a quick break, but the audience kept singing those final lines of “I Believe” – “This is not the end of me, this is the beginning.” – over and over again until she returned, and then came back with the song “Penguin”, (once again, the chemistry between her and Hanson was lovely) and then she got everyone in the audience to take out their phones and take a selfie with the person they came with and post it on the Internet. It was great.
“Jar of Hearts” came next. The crowd went mental as she announced the song that had changed her life, and everyone was singing along. Christina got a well-deserved standing ovation when the song ended.
She finished on a high with “I Don’t Wanna Break” and a ballerina twirl to top it off, receiving yet another standing ovation and a thunderous applause.
Personally I had a great night at the concert, and form the people I talked to that night, they had a great time. I would definitely recommend going to see Christina Perri live, because she’s one of those artists who has it all: charm, confidence, talent and an adoring fan base.
Review by Ciarán Etheran Claw Watts
Photos by Tudor Marian