It was a powerhouse of a night for female singer-songwriters at Stage AE Sunday night as Rachel Platten, Colbie Caillat and Christina Perri delighted the Pittsburgh crowd on part of their “The Girls Night Out, Boys Can Come Too” Tour. As it turned out, many boys did come along this evening.
Rachel Platten opened the evening with songs with her recent “Fight Song” EP that was released earlier this year and ended with a rousing performance of the title song of said EP, her current single and breakout summer hit, “Fight Song”. Before the song, Rachel spoke about how she wrote that song to use it as her motivation to keep chasing her dream, even when times was hard and unsure. Based on the strength of her EP, I’m pretty sure that dream is coming more and more into focus.
Colbie Caillat and Christina Perri are co-headlining this tour, but on this evening, Colbie played the second set. While the large video display behind the band on the stage was lit with Rachel Platten’s name the first set, the rest of the show it was filled with different videos, whether it was graphic visualizations, footage from the music video of the song in the set, or something fun like a pre-recorded video of Jason Mraz singing their hit “Lucky” as Colbie sang live along with him during her set. Colbie played songs from her different albums, including the song that put her on the map, “Bubbly”, to one of her biggest hits in “Try”, which continued a theme of self-empowerment that began in Rachel’s set.
Christina, no stranger to the city of Pittsburgh, closed out the night. Even among non-fans, if there were any in the audience, she easily won them over with a little tale in between songs. It was one of my favorite moments of her set as Christina told a story that was perfectly tailored for our city. Maybe it’s considered cheating, but I feel anyone who speaks to how beautiful it is arriving to Pittsburgh through the Fort Pitt Tunnel earns brownie points. Christina shared a tale of how “The Perks of Being A Wallflower” is one of her favorite books and how the Ford Pitt tunnel driving scene blasting “Landslide” and feeling infinite was one of her favorite scenes within the book. So much so that instead of writing her finals paper in college, she and her friend opted to recreate that scene for themselves by driving all the way down to Pittsburgh to have that moment for themselves only to have to turn right around after they reached the city because it was an 8 hour drive. Beyond that story, there was also the music. As with Colbie’s set, the large video display also showed clips from her videos and other visualizations for other songs. Much like her Pittsburgh story, her set included a more personal touch whether she sat at her lit white piano, on a stool center stage or at the end as she sat on the edge of the stage, inviting everyone in the audience to sing along with her during “A Thousand Years”. As with both artists before her, Christina spoke a little about the history of her breakout song, a touch that was both encouraging and refreshing to see for all the dreamers in the audience.
All photos taken by Long Hong. Instagram/Twitter: @LongQHong