It was a lively night at the Theater of Living Arts on Tuesday as Bea Miller brought her “Sunsets in Outerspace” Tour to Philadelphia. It was the young singer’s second stop in the city this year, moving up to the TLA from The Foundry.
Miller had two other female vocalists open up for her. The first was Kennedi, a singer-songwriter from Minnesota. Kennedi’s music represented the darker, hip hop influenced synth-pop portion of the night. Her music was emotional, stand-offish and chill. As she spoke in between songs, she let the crowd in on her personality, but she lost some of her edge once she started singing. Still, she was largely able to win over the crowd. Coming in knowing nothing about her music, I will say she has an ear for a hook. Every chorus was very catchy and I found myself picking up most of them.
The second opener was Kah-Lo, a Nigerian-born musician. She was here to bring the clubby, hype portion of the night. Though she has not cracked through the mainstream consciousness yet, Kah-Lo has some impressive accomplishments under her belt, including 250 million streams total on Spotify.
Living up to her self-proclaimed title of “hype queen,” Kah-Lo really got the crowd going. Her thumping afro-beats, spun by her DJ Harrison First, had many in the crowd jumping and moving. Kah-Lo also got moving herself, doing some casual choreography throughout before really showing off during her new single, “Exit Sign.” It was obvious that Kah-Lo has a natural talent from performance.
Finally, around 10 p.m., it was time for Bea Miller. As headliner, Miller brought a rock-driven pop sound to the set with her three piece band backing her up. After taking in all three acts, it was interesting that the trio had been booked to one show. While all of their music was pop-driven and full of confidence, they are all very different acts. It just did not have the consistent build of the average concert.
Still, Miller was able to keep the crowd squarely in line with where she planned to take the rest of the night, opening with the first single of her last album, “Song Like You.” The snarl Bea Miller brings to this track is impressive in the recording, but she sinks her teeth in even deeper live.
Miller’s voice is so unique and is enthralling in the live setting. It constantly feels like it might crack at any moment, but its ability to dance on the edge makes it all the more enjoyable.
Miller played some fan favorites and certified spooky season tracks during her set. The first, “To the Grave,” was the closing track of her sophomore album, “Aurora,” and showcased her falsetto. The second was the deep cut “Dracula” from her debut album, which gave her a chance to fully rock out.
Over the course of this year, Miller has released four singles – two solo tracks and two collaborations. With no announced album plans yet, it was obvious during her performances of these tracks that fans are ready for one (there were also scattered chants of “Where is the album? We need the damn album!” before her encore.)
Though this is only her second headlining tour, Miller proved herself a professional on stage. She was comfortable talking at length between songs, engaging with the audience while singing and powering through some technical difficulties during “Fire N Gold.”
She closed her set with her collaboration with the EDM duo NOTD, “I Wanna Know.” The crowd had saved enough energy to go wild for this one, closing out a great Tuesday night.