Beth Hart bared it all at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills on February 5th, with heartfelt, energetic and raw emotion. As “Movin’ On Up” (the theme song to the 70s hit TV show The Jeffersons) played, Hart and her band took to the intimate stage. She powerfully launched into “Levee”, followed by a sweet personal dedication to her father, with an impassioned performance of “Tell Her You Belong to Me”.
Over the next two-plus hours, she shared over 20 songs from her vast catalog.
With each tune came a fascinating story. Hart planted herself on the edge of the stage, sharing her love of Leonard Cohen, delivering a sultry and sensual performance of “Gangster” that she wrote for him. Pleasantly chatting with the crowd, she expressed just how much she had missed performing for them. As she rolled into “Black As Night”, she quipped how she needed to act like a lady while performing it in honor of its author, Melody Gardot. Hart then took a seat at a beautiful Yamaha baby grand, highlighting her insane piano skills for “Bang Bang” as her fantastic band backed her. She expressed gratitude for her bandmates, stating she keeps them on her toes with her crazy tempos.
Hart has a history of playing with phenomenal guitar players, like Joe Bonamassa. She next played “Rub Me for Luck”, dedicating it to all of her favorite guitar players. Continuing her playful interaction with the crowd, she added a fan request to the setlist, asking if they’d like to hear “I’ll Take Care of You” or “Baddest Blues”. Hart weighed out the fans’ excited applause and mighty shouts, with “I’ll Take Care of You” winning out.
While seated at the candle-lit piano, Hart began candidly sharing how the COVID lockdown had affected her relationship with her husband and how she had written “My California” as an apology to him. Following the sentimental performance, her husband came rushing from backstage to embrace her. Continuing on piano, Hart followed with the tear-jerker “Hero”.
With her love for eclectic musicians, Hart brought out her favorite neighbor, Rich, to perform on a guitar viola alongside an upright bass for “Woman Down”.
The evening of dedications continued with a shoutout to her good friend from high school before playing “Without Words”. Crossing over the two-hour mark, Hart expressed how quickly the night had gone and how she wished she could squeeze more in. She told fans she understood if some were tired and needed to go home or go to the bathroom or to grab a drink. But, the seats were still full! From electric to acoustic, her phenomenal band showcased their powerhouse talents on guitar, bass and drums throughout the entire night. Hart moved the guys to the front of the stage and launched into wild acoustic versions, with percussion on fire for “Sugar Shack” and “Fatman”. She then sensually and soulfully rolled into “If I Tell You”, followed by her powerful guitar playing on “Spanish”. Hart also shared with fans that she loves serial killer documentaries, which prompted her to write the haunting song, “Boogie Man”.
Her talented band plugged back in for the final song of the night, with Beth kneeling on stage for “No Quarter Babe”. However, the sold-out crowd wasn’t going to have it. They wanted more! Hart and her band returned to the stage; she acknowledged the crowd had made a request and did not want to disappoint. Taking a seat once again at her piano, Hart delivered “Light On” to a teary-eyed crowd. Without a doubt, COVID has been hard on all of us. But, the reward was Beth Hart delivering a powerful, sensual and electric show for her fans.
Photography by Jenni Lynne