Haley Reinhart

Haley Reinhart 
Concert in Support of the album “What’s That Sound?”
Article and photos by Steven Anderson

When I arrived at The Belly Up Tavern the sun was fading over the horizon and it was starting to cool off outside It had been a record-breaking hot day in Solana Beach so it felt good to linger outside the club. I took a few photos of the iconic sign “Belly Up Established 1974”outside the club and I observed the crowd waiting in line. I could see that it was mostly comprised of two age groups. There were the 20-30-year-olds who probably remembered Haley Reinhart from her performances on the TV show “American Idol” and the Baby Boomers aged 50 to 60 who came to hear her sing classic rock songs from her new album “What’s That Sound”. I waited for the crowd to go in first so I could follow and see what type of seating they chose. 

The Baby Boomers filled up the chairs and tables around the stage and the younger people milled around in small groups on the outside edges of the dance floor near the bar. Both groups were then in a good position to order their drinks, talk with friends and prepare for the upcoming show. So, when Sofia Alone took the stage with her band most of the audience was involved in their own private parties and she had to earn their attention. She quickly grabbed the attention of the audience with her powerful vocal style and expressive gestures.  By the time she finished her set with the Whitney Houston song “I Will Always Love You”, she had captured the attention from the table sections and the area in front of the stage was filling up with an appreciative crowd.

After a short break, Savannah Outen and her band came out on the stage. Unlike the traditional rock band set up of guitars, drums, keys, and singer, Savannah was backed by two keyboards and a set of electric drums. This combination of “synth” instruments created a wide range of music to compliment Savannah’s vocals.  She electrified the audience as she went from hot torch song to soft cooing ballad to a hard rocker closing song. She exited to tremendous applause from the crowd and the anticipation in the club was palatable as they waited for the final act of the night.

By the time Haley Reinhart walked out and grabbed the microphone on center stage, the open dance floor area was packed with fans and every eye in the club was riveted on her. Dressed in classic hippy style baggy embroidered pants, beads and white sunglasses she coolly took over the night. In support of her recently released album “What’s That Sound?” Haley weaved 10 classic rock songs into her 18 song set.  Some of these songs were written before she was born but she has the talent to make a song sound timeless. Three of the classic rock songs stand out in my mind and showed her ability to sing a wide range of music. First, on “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane, she showed her incredibly wide vocal range when she started out slow and in a very low vocal register and finished the song hitting all the long drawn out high notes while maintaining perfect pitch and volume. Again in the middle of the set, she took the classic protest rock song “For What it’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield and made it her own.  Before she started the song she said it was one of her all-time favorites “because the message that the song conveys (paranoia and fear to speak out) is still timely today”.  She moved around the stage pointing out to the crowd to punctuate the lyrics and when she enthusiastically belted out the chorus “Hey what’s that sound, everybody look what’s going down” the crowd loudly sang along as if they had become liberated from paranoia and fear.  She continued to dance around the stage and repeated the chorus so the crowd could sing along and feel the power of the song. So, not only did she exhibit a rare vocal talent on this night but she showed that she could connect to the crowd.

 Finally, during the encore, she performed the third and my favorite song of the night, “Creep” by Radiohead. She took this song that was already an over the top emotional song and ramped it up so much that I got chills up and down my spine. She hit notes that Radiohead never included in their original score and took a great song and made it greater! When the show was over I tried to think of what category of singer I could place Haley Reinhart in, and I couldn’t do it. She has the raw power of a singer like Pink but also the rare emotive quality of Adele. I will say that she is one of the top vocal talents I have ever heard and the collection of songs on her new album “What’s That Sound” will draw vast amounts of new fans. Check out her set list that I have provided below and go to her website www.haleyreinhart.com  to catch her live in a show near you.

Setlist  Better
             White Rabbit
             The Letter
             Can't Find My Way Home
             Good or Bad
             Check Please
             Time Of The Season
              Bring The Love Back Home
              Somewhere In Between
              Sunny Afternoon
              For What It's Worth
              Baby It's You
              Can't Help Falling In Love
              My Cake
 Encore - These Boots are Made For Walkin'
                Let's Start

All photographs are copyrighted images.