It’s every musicians’ dream to headline a major tour, whether they have a following of 10,000 people or 10, they want to feel that rush of walking on stage to a sold-out crowd of people who admire them, look up to them and use their music an escape. On Tuesday, April 23rd, that’s the exact feeling I imagine Bea Miller experienced as she walked out onto the stage of the Amsterdam in St. Paul.
Since 2012, Bea has been taking the world by storm when she came in 9th place during the second season of The X Factor, at the age of 13. She was clearly destined to take the world by storm as I haven’t meant many 13-year-olds who have acclaimed that level of success at such a young age. At the age of 15 she released her first EP Young Blood, which peaked at No. 2 on iTunes giving her the opportunity to open for Demi Lovato on her Demi World Tour.
These days the New Jersey based singer and song writer has been killing it with the release of her second studio album Aurora in 2018, as well as her latest hit single, its not you its me. The Ep covers a variety of topics from existential boredom to slut shaming. The album features one of her hit singles “S.L.U.T.” (Sweet, Little, Unforgettable Thing). After telling Teen Vogue about a fan who called her the derogatory word, she switched things around stating. “Let’s turn something that’s negative into something positive and reclaim the word so when women are called a slut for absolutely no reason, it doesn’t make them feel bad about themselves.”
I was extremely excited for this show, the second I saw her announcement on Facebook, I knew I had to sign up ASAP to cover it for Twin Cities Media. When I arrived to Amsterdam, I immediately felt like one of the older people in the crowd, and I’m only 24. I have no problem with this, it’s actually very encouraging to see younger people out at shows, especially on a Tuesday night! As I worked my way through the crowd, trying to get as close as I could, I passed by several groups of girls who were eagerly chatting about how excited they were to finally see Bea live. Finally, I found a spot about 15 feet from the stage, where I was squished shoulder to shoulder with some of Bea’s loyal fans.
Right before Bea took the stage, the crowd began to grow anxious as a backing track started to play her voice chanting “Where is the album? We need the damn album!” over and over again until her drummer finally came in with a rocking beat that gave Bea the intro she needed to take the stage for the very first time as a headliner.
Once she took the stage, the crowd screamed as loud as they could while filming her entrance for their Instagram/snap stories, almost everyone around me held their phone as high as they could. She proceeded to dance around stage with a smile that warmed your hear, her bubbly and happy-go-lucky personality and excitement to be back on stage shined during this first song. She began to cry as the crowd gazed up at her lovingly, not of sadness, but of pure joy and happiness. Everyone in the crowd had a mutual understanding of what was going on and how important this moment was to Bea.
This wasn’t the only time she got emotional during her set. After a few more of her pop hits, Bea went into what she described as her “emo part of her set.” She began by telling us a story of how she normally writes her songs for the fans, but this next one she wrote just for herself to help boost herself up whenever she’s feeling down. After a brief intro she begins to sing and to my surprise almost the entire crowd joined in with her, singing along word for word. Bea seemed just as shocked as I was, this clearly struck a nerve as she had to take a second to appreciate the moment and take a mental photograph.
To close out this moody segment of her set and get the crowd back in party mode, Bea launched into a cover of the Jonas Brother’s songs, Burnin’ Up, one of Bea’s personal favorites. Jamming out to the song, whipping her long hot pink hair back and forth, Bea brought life back into the Amsterdam. The fans loved it as they jumped around singing what they could remember of the 2008 hit.
The end of Bea’s show unfortunately started to come to an end when she announced she only had two songs left. She received a synchronized “No” from everyone in the crowd, no one was ready for Bea to leave. Hoping to keep her on stage for as long as possible they put all of their energy into the next two songs, in an attempt to show Bea that they’re worth an encore set!
The first of her last two songs was one of my favorite, Fire and Gold. The guitarist launched into the song with a clean sounding riff that allowed Bea and everyone in the venue (including myself) to started to sing along “Like an astronaut that’s scared of heights.” Once the chorus hit, the crowd launched into full part mode, jumping along with Bea as the drums thundered and Bea’s iconic voice pleasantly filled the ears of everyone.
To end her set, she played her latest sing, its not you its me, an absolute banger that is supposed to be accompanied by rapper 6LACK. With a groovy hip-hop beat to showcase Bea’s incredible vocal range, the crowd bounced up and down rapping over the vocal track of 6LACK hoping that they’d somehow stand out to Bea and she’d bring them up on stage to finish of the song with her.
As the song died off, the crowd started to roar and chant as loud as they could “Encore! Encore! Encore!” To no surprise, Bea instantaneously popped back on stage to give the crowed one last major banger on the condition that they take a group photo and rock out as hard as they could during the final moments of her first headlining show, they did both flawlessly.
Looking back on Tuesday night, I keep thinking about the energy Bea brought to the stage and how connected she is to her music and fans. However, the one thing that stood out to me is her voice… holy shit this girl has pipes! She’s so talented and her vocal range is absolutely outstanding! I know that this girl has nowhere to go but up, and I expect to see her playing venues similar to First Ave around the country in the next few years. If you’re reading this and you haven’t heard of Bea Miller before, I highly suggest you go add anyone of her songs to your current playlist, I can guarantee you won’t regret it!