Bea Miller: Sunsets in Outer Space Concert Review

poster for the Sunsets in Outer Space tour by Bea Miller

Bea Miller headlined for the Metro Chicago last Friday night, November 8, as part of her "Sunsets in Outer Space Tour." She performed in front of a packed audience filled with her dedicated Chicago fans. The concert was overflowing with energy thanks to the excellent performances from Miller and her two opening acts, Kennedi and Kah-Lo. The trio will continue the North American tour throughout the month, hitting cities like Minneapolis, Portland, and Los Angeles next.

The Openers

image

The show opened with singer-songwriter Kennedi who shared a unique performance that utilized both autotune and acoustic guitar. The Los Angeles native showed plenty of appreciation for Chicago as she constantly thanked the audience throughout her act. In return, audience members gave her lots of love, even gifting her a hat that she would go on to wear for the rest of her performance. During her stage, Kennedi played her most recent electro-pop tunes like her song “Better.”

Flashing neon lights signaled the start of the next performance from Nigerian artist Kah-Lo. Her club-inspired sound was enhanced by the DJ accompanying her and she displayed contagious dance moves to further engage with the audience. In between songs she would introduce popular Nigerian phrases that she would urge the audience to use as she performed. One phrase, “Ginger,” is also the name of one of Kah-Lo’s most popular songs and when she performed it the sound seemed to electrify the audience, inspiring them to dance as they vibed to the beat.

The Main Act

If you watched the USA’s version of “The X Factor,” then the name Bea Miller might sound familiar. Miller competed on the show when she was 13 years old, and despite being eliminated in the fourth week, she didn’t let that stop her from achieving her dreams of becoming a performer. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Miller landed a joint record deal with both Hollywood and Syco Records in April of 2013. A year later, she released her first EP entitled Young Blood with the title track “Young Blood,” “Fire n Gold,” “Enemy Fire,” and “Dracula.” These songs defined her as an edgy teen popstar. Then in July 2015, at the tender age of sixteen, Miller released her debut album titled Not An Apology, which included all four of the songs from her Young Blood EP. The album did relatively well, peaking at number 7 on the US Billboard 200 list. The music from this project encouraged the idea that she was a young woman with a bite and vigor like no other in the current pop music scene.

image

Her most recent album Aurora, released in 2018, was not as guitar-driven and drum-heavy as her previous work but it was still met with critical acclaim by her fans. Seeing her perform it live in Chicago during her “Sunsets in Outer Space Tour” was something to behold. Miller made sure there was something for all her fans to enjoy.

When Miller sang, she was a force to be reckoned with. The controlled distortion of her voice made her sound experienced and the delivery of her lyrics left you deeply moved. The audience went crazy for her sound and at one point Miller sat on stage in awe of it. The experience of seeing her audience enamored and captured by every word she sang was mesmerizing.

When Miller spoke, despite not being able to hear half of it from the crowd and microphone feedback, you could tell that she chose her words carefully. It was as if she was Desdemona from Shakespeare’s “Othello,” uttering soliloquies before and after almost every song. It was a rare sight as most performers just introduce themselves and the song. They don’t describe the emotions behind each song or how those emotions came to be. Miller did this and more during her performance, successfully captivating the audience throughout the night.

The Setlist

Bea Miller sitting on the platform where the drums are
  1. Song Like You
  2. Outside
  3. To the Grave
  4. Motherlove
  5. S.L.U.T
  6. Feel Something
  7. Like That
  8. It’s Not U It’s Me
  9. Feels Like Home
  10. That B****
  11. Fire N Gold
  12. Never Gonna Like You
  13. I Wanna Know