Thursday night Tori Kelly brought her living room to The Palace Theater and entertained her fans in an acoustic session along with guitar pal Mateus Asato. The stage had a sofa, chairs, 2 lamps/side tables and several guitars. The concert seemed like a visit with an old friend and catching up with what’s new. Kelly came off as very humble, relaxed and down to earth. She joked with the audience and played songs from very early in her career, up to the current album. During one segment, Tori went over her past and how her career developed, with occasional breaks to perform snippets of songs from the period in her life. She fell in love with singing at age 6 and talked about her ups and downs over the years and how she would retreat to her bedroom during the downs to regroup. When she was 11, Kelly appeared on the show Star Search, but lost to vocalist Tiffany Evans, who won the title of Junior Champion in the junior singer division.
In 2004, she participated on America’s Most Talented Kids, singing Christina Aguilera’s “Keep on Singin’ My Song” and won, beating out musician Hunter Hayes. She made a second appearance on the show in the Tournament of Champions, but lost to Antonio Pontarelli, a rock musician. At age twelve, Kelly accepted a record deal with Geffen Records, but both sides agreed to end the contract due to creative differences. In 2007, at the age of 14, Kelly began posting videos to YouTube. The first video she uploaded was a cover of John Wesley Work Jr.’s “Go Tell It on the Mountain”, which she originally performed back in December 2004. Kelly gained recognition for her acoustic cover, with a fellow YouTuber named Angie Girl, of Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You”.
Despite failing to reach the top 24 on “American Idol,” she took a new tack in her music, retreating to her bedroom she learned how to play the guitar, composing original song pieces, and recording them herself on her computer. Tori began posting her performances on YouTube and eventually gained a huge following. Recently Kelly won 2 Grammys for Best Gospel Album and Best Gospel Performance/Song. Her story was full of rejection, determination and eventual success.
During her performance, the audience rocked back and forth, sang along and cheered wildly after every song. There were frequent shouts from the audience requesting songs and expressing their love.
At the end of the night, the concert seemed to end too soon. There was great guitar work from Kelly and Asato and just beautiful vocals from Kelly with great range, mixed with heart warming stories about her trials and tribulations. I left feeling so proud of her and what she had accomplished on her journey and she is an example that anyone can attain their dreams if they refuse to give up.
I Was Made for Loving You
Take Back Home Girl (Chris Lane cover)
Keep on Singin’ My Song (Christina Aguilera cover)
The Only Exception (Paramore cover)
Bring Me Home
Thinkin Bout You (Frank Ocean cover)
Suit & Tie (Justin Timberlake cover)
Confetti / Daydream / Eyelashes / Stained / Treasure / Celestial / Upside Down / Rocket / Paper Hearts / All in My Head / Dear No One
Kid I Used to Know
Sorry Would Go a Long Way
Should’ve Been Us
Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing
Change Your Mind