Little Miss Sunrise
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Norah Jones hit all the right notes with her piano and guitar at her homecoming concert.
The Siri Fort auditorium is where strains of Pt Ravi Shankar's sitar used to resonate regularly. This is also where Anoushka Shankar gave an improved performance last year. So when the other daughter, nine-time Grammy-winner Norah Jones took the stage at Siri Fort in a sold-out show, it was in a very strange way a sort of "bittersweet" homecoming.
Jones is known to be sublime on stage, like the lit up doves that hung from the stage ceiling. On Tuesday evening, she did what she is brilliant at — she sang with abandon. Organised by Mumbai-based Only Much Louder, in the Delhi concert, the pop and jazz singer's every riff, piano hook, drum beat and whisper, apart from being flawless, was as honest as it could get. It was as if we were drawn into a world of those old tapes, which spoke to you and made you oblivious to the rest of the world.
After a deftly enunciated performance by M Ward, whose finger-picking skills on the guitar dominated his vocals, Jones entered the room with a shy "hello" and went straight into an upbeat Happy pill from her last album "Little Broken Hearts", followed by What am I to you, the track that just melted into different chords. Dressed in a black-and-white dress, the only bling on Jones was a pair of fiery orange shoes, and of course, her husky tone, which created an ethereal haze for the next 90 minutes. Unlike the past concerts at this hall, known for its bad acoustics, the sound was phenomenal.
Ably backed by her quartet, Jones knew how to keep her fans (who cheered her every little gesture, including everytime she sipped coffee) engaged — talking to them, switching from keyboards to the guitar to the piano and then back to a guitar. "It's red. It dresses up anything," said Jones, after she strapped herself with a guitar and belted out Rosie — one of those soft lullabies, followed by the dark and mean Little broken hearts and Tom Wait's wonderful Long way home.