Reviews > Shows
Norah Jones at SummerStage
SummerStage, Central Park
New York, NY
When Norah Jones appeared on the alfresco SummerStage in Central Park, the densely packed crowd welcomed her back to New York City with open arms and a warm cheer. “I’m so happy to be here playing at home,” Jones said with a smile.
The night’s first song, “Good Morning” (which is also the opener on Jones’ latest album, Little Broken Hearts ), was aptly chosen, as its bare-minimum instrumentals and ethereal quality enveloped the audience—a perfect complement to the balmy evening. The songstress’ dulcet, sultry voice was as effortlessly on point as ever as she cycled through most of the tracks off of Hearts, alternating between keyboards, electric and acoustic guitars and a grand piano. The indie pop and edgy blues of her new material were contrasted with the smooth jazz of her earlier albums, an approach that highlighted Jones’ dynamic musical career. Jones took to the piano unaccompanied for a fresh and poignant rendition of “Don’t Know Why,” the only number that prompted an audience-wide sing-along.
Another highlight of the night was an unexpected cover of the Grateful Dead’s “It Must Have Been the Roses.” Jones and her band stayed true to the original while deftly putting their own spin on it. The backing band, consisting of Greg Wieczorek on drums, Jason Abraham Roberts on guitar, Josh Lattanzi on bass and Pete Remm on keyboards, brought an undeniable liveliness to the entire performance, with Jones commenting, “I love my new band.”
The majority of the show was mild and relaxed, as much of the audience seemed unfamiliar with Jones’ latest album. The upbeat new single “Happy Pills,” which made an appearance near the end of the set, should have been one of the night’s more energetic numbers, but the audience’s excitement was much more palpable for the classic “Come Away With Me.” Norah’s recent records make a clear effort towards a more modern sound and image, but Wednesday’s crowd seemed unwilling to let go of Norah’s jazzy persona of yesteryear. She was polite and humble nonetheless, thanking the crowd even after some of the most tepid rounds of applause, despite putting on a show that deserved a much more fervent audience response.
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