I’d had every intention of seeing Ms. Barber at the Halifax Jazz Festival and was thrilled to discover I’d won two tickets to the event. I’d entered a Facebook contest with “Halifax Magazine” by making a comment saying that the “last time I’d seen Jill perform…I thought she was singing just for me.”
Little-One arrived home yesterday morning and it was the PERFECT way to start our “Summer of Adventures.” We arrived at Halifax Jazzfest’s venue and much to our surprise, were handed VIP passes and refreshment tickets to start the night off. I wasn’t sure if Little-One would enjoy the music even though I knew she was a “lyric fanatic” much like myself. While she claimed she hadn’t heard Jill’s music before, I quickly reminded her of the “Ashes to Ashes” song that meant so much to me when I lost my grandmother this past March. At the time, I’d sent Jill a tweet to thank her for finding the words I was unable to express and received a response proving to me the undeniable connection Jill has with her audience.
From the moment this amazing talent stepped on stage, Little-One was as captivated as I. Jill radiated an amazing energy…her tiny frame fitting perfectly in the off-the-shoulder black cocktail dress with a full tulled skirt…reminiscent of an elegant ostrich! She wore the dress with utmost sex appeal and the second she began to sing, Little-One looked at me with pure amazement and I smiled an “I told you so” smile.
Jill sang one song after the next connecting with the crowd, asking for a show of hands to uncover the couple in the audience who were married the longest. She explained how her drummer, Adam, was getting married and asked if they could offer any advice. Suddenly from my left, caught up in the moment, Little-One cupped her hands over her mouth as if to make a megaphone and yelled “Don’t do it!” causing a roar of laughter and multiple heads turning in our direction while I sat there laughing over yet another public incident with a friend!
Jill introduced her talented band of Drew, Robbie, Steve, Adam and her producer and band mate Les. The camaraderie between the group was obvious and when Jill began to sing “A Wish Under My Pillow“…the boys gathered around her humming and singing backup ala Barber Shop Quartet with the only instrument being Drew’s whistling and Les’s guitar. Afterwards, Jill laughed about how Drew Jurecka, a child prodigy violin player in his own right, receives the most applause each night with his whistling solo!
The boys left the stage, leaving Jill alone for a moment with her guitar as she sang my favorite, “Ashes to Ashes,” and ironically a hospital helicopter flew over the festival tent as I found myself saying a small prayer that someone else wasn’t losing someone they dearly loved. As the band returned, Jill disappeared for a wardrobe change allowing her to sing a few of her feisty songs that should only be sung wearing sequins.
To finish the two hour set, Jill belted out “Oh My My.” A song I’d heard shortly after my marriage ended. A melancholy, horrid tale of a heart too broken to ever be fixed depicting exactly how I felt at the time. Last night, sitting in the large tent as the wind swept through the crowd, it hit me…the heartache, the pain, the pure despair had been replaced with a life of happiness and a realization that despite all I’d been through…I could indeed love again.
A standing ovation, the crowd gone wild and an encore completed the night. Theatrically adorable and deliciously quirky…singing modern, nostalgic and romantic song after song with amazing lyrics of love and loss…Jill Barber truly connects with her audience.
This afternoon I received a thank you tweet from Jill for a message I’d sent last night proving yet again the connection she’s made and proof that she indeed…was singing just for me.