There are only a handful of people and bands in my “artists to watch perform before I die” list. And yes, this very short list includes Norah Jones.
So after a couple of undecided sleepless nights and some nudges, I decided to fly to Singapore to experience her performance at the new 5,000-seat Star Theater last February 27, 2013.
Thanks to my friend, we had the best seats in town – right in the middle of the front row.
The sound of Norah Jones’ voice is like smooth wine down my throat at the end of a very long day. That is about the best way I could describe it. Paired with her sweet not-so-occasional smiles all throughout the performance, I was blown away.
I was literally sitting at the edge of my seat the whole time.
She changed from one instrument to another, singing most songs with the full quartet, and some old favorites (Don’t Know Why, Nearness Of You, Lone Star) by herself on the piano.
The songs she played were mostly from the less “organic” fifth album, Little Broken Hearts, which was released in 2012. In between new songs, she played Norah Jones classics from previous albums (from Come Away With Me in 2002 to The Fall in 2009).
It is noticeable though, that she put a little bit more heart into singing her newer songs. At one point she asks, “Do you want to hear a new song?” When the crowd wooted, she exclaimed “Yes!”.
Her newer songs are darker, more mature, and a bit electronic with its effects and fuzzy guitars. It’s a major change from the previous albums, so if you have been a listener since 2002, you will be very surprised.
It is also important to note that Little Broken Hearts is a dark breakup album with a happy tone – the best example for this description would be the song “Happy Pills” which she opened the concert with.
Despite having been released last year, it seems that not a lot of people (even fans) are knowledgeable of the fifth album. During the Singapore concert, I noticed that the crowd was crazier when she played her past songs.
Personally, I still prefer the old her – it fits wine nights much better. But I wouldn’t say I wasn’t amazed. Norah Jones is Norah Jones is Norah Jones.
I would listen to her again and again and again.
This is AD Hunter and I, after having taken Happy Pills.
Norah Jones singing Nearness of You – one of my favorites.
My other recorded videos are on YouTube, in case you want to watch:
Norah Jones performed in the Star Theater in Singapore last February 27, 2013. The front-most tickets cost SGD190.00.