Video: Sara Bareilles Q&A at the Billboard Studios
Feature: Sara Bareilles' Puts Her 'Heart' Into New Album
The new track "Gonna Get Over You," which she dedicated to anyone "with a douchebag in their life," delivered the night's most playful performance as Bareilles relished the 1950s-era piano hook. "King of Anything," the first single from "Kaleidoscope," was equally terrific; Bareilles is clearly comfortable singing from her heart.
Perhaps the night's only weak spot came during an overstylized extended introduction to "Hold My Heart" that was reminiscent of a bad nature CD. Swapping piano for acoustic guitar, Bareilles noted her struggles with writer's block in producing "Kaleidoscope" and revealed how being an "emotional basket case" helped snap her out of it -- which led nicely into a revealing version of "Basket Case."
Video: Sara Bareilles Covers Beyonce
Photos: Sara Bareilles at the Billboard Studios
"Fairytales" cleared the band from the stage, and Bareilles delivered the feminist anthem with a natural confidence and elegance. Although comparisons could be made at times during her performance to Sinead O'Connor, Lily Allen and Michelle Branch, Bareilles' vocal range belies easy categorization.
Shifting genres from perfect pop to blues and back, the night's bravest and most powerful performance came at the end, when Bareilles returned to her roots and brilliantly sang fan favorite "Gravity" backed only by an a cappella group.