Beth Hart is truly an amazing artist who can captivate her audience through her wonderful blues-based rock, and tonight at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall was no different. From the moment she entered the stage to her last notes of the evening, the audience clearly showed a real love for her.
Beth Hart – Symphony Hall, Birmingham
9 March 2023
Words and Photography: Andy Shaw
Kicking off with Love Gangster, Beth’s voice was impeccable, and her band, who have been with her for many years, were an extension of her vocals. Delicious Surprise next from her 1999 album Screamin’ for My Supper, followed by When The Levee Breaks, a cover of the Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe McCoy song embraced by Led Zeppelin.
Beth then seated herself on the piano for I’ll Take Care Of You, after which she told the story about the next song, As Good As It Gets. “This song is a true story,” Beth says. “My mom phones up and says Mark, her parent, has left me for Penny down the street. She lives 12 hours away, and both my sister and me were on our way, so we were both gonna kill him. When I got there, I thought, let’s write a bunch of songs about it.”
Following on, she explained that her story proves that Love Is A Lie, another song she wrote about her Mother.
Her band of Jon Nichols (guitar), Bill Ransom (drums), and Tom Lilly (bass) are in top form. Next is The Ugliest House on the Block, which she explains is about the house she bought with her husband and road manager Scott Guetzkow.
With Beth at the piano, she plays Bad Woman Blues, War in My Mind, followed by Fire On The Floor. By the time we get to Something Alone, the crowd are totally captivated by her performance and storytelling.
Without Words In The Way is a song Beth wrote for her dad, and here she is accompanied by Tom Lilly on Double Bass. The other band members join her at the front of the stage for an acoustic section of the show, starting with Sugar Shack, where part way through, Bill Ransom gives a brilliant solo on his bongos.
After this is a cover of Randy Week’s song Can’t Let Go, then a Bill Withers cover For My Friend. The set finished with No Quarter / Babe I’m Gonna Leave You from her latest album, A Tribute To Led Zepplin, and it feels as though both the crowd and the band seemed a little reluctant for the show to end.
Returning to the stage, Jon Nichols plays a few bars of Led Zeppelin Whole Lotta Love before moving into an Etta James cover of I’d Rather Go Blind.
The band leave the stage leaving Beth perched on the front. She explains how she was inspired by something she saw on Youtube, a singer Callie Day and the song Hear My Prayer. Beth performs her own version alone. Her voice reverberating around the cavernous Symphony Hall is a spinetingling way to end the evening. The band rejoin her for a last goodbye, and its the end of a wonderful night.
Whole Lotta Love & Rather Go Blind wasn’t performed.
Wow!!! best gig I’ve been too in a long while, can’t wait to see Beth again sometime
Rather Go Blind was definitely not performed!!