When petite British singer Corrine Bailey Rae stepped onto the stage Tuesday night at CenterStage, she looked more like a young, shy American Idol contestant than the lyrical and vocal force she would prove she is by night’s end.
Dressed in a purple Alexander McQueen jumpsuit and a mass of locks that almost hid her tiny face, Rae started the night out with “Are You Here,” a tune from her album, “The Sea,” released earlier this year. From there, she went through the fun and peppy, vintage sounding “Paris Nights” also from “The Sea,” to the brooding ballad “Till it Happens to You” from her self-titled debut.
With her arms reaching out to the sold-out crowd most of the night, she seemed to take the audience in with her lovely and perfectly pitched voice, comforting them one moment with “Love is on Its Way” and teasing the next with the sexy, sensual grooves in “Closer.”
Into the sixth week of her North American tour, Rae knows how to put on a show, letting audience take over in older favorites such as “Put your Records On” and “Like A Star” and giving them a taste of the new album with “Feels Like the First Time.”
Several times, fans seemed unable to hold back from their constant outbursts of affection. A woman who seriously loved Rae’s performance of “Closer” insisted on doing a morphed version of the old-school Reebok dance while yelling “Work it!” at the top of her lungs.
And a gentleman who sat next to yours truly, menacingly demanded that I turn off my Blackberry while taking review notes from the show. Since I was there as a representative of the paper and certainly didn’t want to get into an altercation with another serious (and seemingly crazed) fan, I politely obliged.
See photos from the show here.