Kristina Blagojev and Briana Ross-Williams | Posted on November 10, 2019
courtesy of Bea Miller
Bea Miller headlined for the Metro Chicago last Friday night, November 8th, as part of her “Sunsets in Outer Space Tour.” She performed in front of a packed audience filled with her dedicated Chicago fans. The mood of the concert was overflowing with energy thanks to the excellent perfomances from Miller and her two opening acts, Kennedi and Kah-Lo. The trio will continue the North American tour throughout the month, hitting cities like Minneapolis, Portland, and Los Angeles next.
Kennedi (on the left) and Kah-Lo (on the right)
The show opened with singer-songwriter Kennedi who shared a unique performance that utilized both autotune and acoustic guitar. The Los Angeles native showed plenty of appreciation for Chicago as she constantly thanked the audience throughout her act. In turn, audience members gave her lots of love, even gifting her a hat that she would go on to wear during her performance. During her stage, Kennedi played her most recent eletro-pop tunes like her song “Better.”
Nigerian artist Kah-Lo stepped onto the stage next and by no means was she alone. She was joined by her DJ, her contagious dance moves, and her pure dynamism that easily transferred to the audience. In between songs she would introduce popular Nigerian phrases that she would urge the audience to use as she performed. Kah-Lo’s song “Ginger” seemed to electrify the audience, inspiring them to dance as they vibed to the beat.
The Main Act
If you watched the USA’s version of The X Factor, then the name Bea Miller might sound familiar. Miller competed on the show when she was 13 years old, and despite being eliminated in the fourth week, she didn’t let that stop her from achieving her dreams of becoming a performer. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Miller landed a joint record deal with both Hollywood and Syco Records in April of 2013. A year later, she released her first EP, entitled Young Blood with the title track “Young Blood,” “Fire n Gold,” “Enemy Fire,” and “Dracula,” defining her as an edgy teen popstar. Then in July 2015, at the tender age of sixteen, Miller released her debut album titled Not An Apology, which included all four of the songs from her Young Blood EP. The album did relatively well, peaking at number 7 on the US Billboard 200 list. The music from this project encouraged the idea that she was a young woman with a bite and vigor like no other in the current pop music scene.
Despite her most recent album aurora, released in 2018, not being as guitar-driven and drum-heavy, it was still met with critical acclaim by her fans. Hearing it live in Chicago during her “Sunsets in Outer Space Tour” at the Metro, was something to behold. Even though there were no crazy guitar solos on aurora, she made sure that there were still some for Miller’s more hardcore fans.
With her tea in one hand, a microphone in the other, and guitarist Heather Baker releasing her energy through her solos, Miller sat on the stage in awe as to how Baker was playing, and as a response to her fanatic audience. They were going crazy, with every right to be. Miller, when she sang, was a force to be reckoned with. The controlled distortion of her voice made her sound more experienced than her peers will ever be. Miller’s delivery of her lyrics left you haunted. The experience of seeing her audience enamored and captured by every word she sang left you mesmerized. How could a tiny 20-year-old hold a group of 1,100 people in the palm of her hands like this?
Even when Miller spoke, despite not being able to hear half of it from the crowd and microphone feedback, you could tell that she chose her words carefully. It was as if she was a character in a Shakespeare play, uttering soliloquies before and after almost every song. This is unheard of at most concerts; most performers just introduce themselves and the song. They don’t describe the emotions behind each song, or how and why they were cultivated in the first place. It really felt as if Miller was a sort-of narrator at her own show. Again, even though you weren’t able to hear some of what she was saying, what mattered most was that you could tell that she meant what she was saying.
Song Like You
To the Grave
It’s Not U It’s Me
Feels Like Home
Fire N Gold
Never Gonna Like You
I Wanna Know