REVIEW: Sarah Darling, Jenn Bostic, and Emily Brooke in South Florida
Occasionally you go to an intimate show and are fortunate to experience an incredible performer up close and personal. Very rarely are you able to have that experience multiplied by three. On February 26th in Jupiter, Florida, Nashville recording artist, Sarah Darling; UK chart topper, Jenn Bostic; and local teenage prodigy, Emily Brooke, shared the stage at Tiki 52 for one night only … And it was a night that attendees won’t soon forget.
Emily Brooke opened the night with a bang, almost literally, as she took on Miranda Lambert’s “Kerosene.” As always, Emily charmed the crowd immediately with her soulful voice, stunning guitar playing, and adorable personality, made especially apparent by the huge smile that crossed her face when the audience joined her in a loud “HA!” during this hot opener. In true Emily Brooke fashion, she introduced almost every song, told cute little stories, made herself giggle, and, like a seasoned professional, swiftly returned to her set list seamlessly. A crowd favorite was Darius Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel,” which Emily introduced and then, elatedly, said that she heard someone in the audience say how much she loved this song. Onlookers sang and clapped along as Emily strummed the guitar and crooned this popular tune that oftentimes receives a warm reception and rave reviews. Other highlights of Emily’s set list included Hunter Hayes’ “All You Ever,” The Civil Wars’ “Devil’s Backbone,” and original song (on Emily’s Here Right Now album with a corresponding video on YouTube) “Dance Hall.”
Following Emily Brooke came Nashville’s darling, Sarah Darling. They say “it’s all in a name” and Sarah is that quote personified. Not only is Sarah one of the kindest individuals you will meet (in the music industry and beyond), but she is absolutely darling on stage. The beauty of Sarah, other than her angelic, pure vocals, is that her sweetness and sincerity as a person are exemplified through her music.
Throughout Sarah’s set, which began with a cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Free Fallin’,” Sarah commanded attention from the crowd, which was drawn in by her charismatic stage presence and gorgeous vocal dexterity. Touching on a variety of genres, including alternative, pop, rock, and, of course, country, Sarah rounded out her set with originals that left the audience scrambling to purchase her music. Songs such as “Old T-Shirt,” “Wherever You Are,” and “To Be With You” further solidified that Sarah is not only a vocal genius, but an artistic lyricist as well.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a complete Sarah Darling set list without her widely known songs, “Little Umbrellas” (played often on SiriusXM) or “Home To Me” (which fans may relate to Sarah’s cameo on ABC’s The Bachelor). Whether Sarah was challenging the audience to name every alcoholic beverage in “Little Umbrellas” to win a pair of super adorable Sarah Darling sunglasses (available at all Sarah shows!) or treating us to an exquisite rendition of the song that romanticized America, Sarah held everybody in the palm of her hands. Before Sarah left the stage to make room for the incomparable Jenn Bostic, the talented songstresses performed a ballad that the two wrote together during a recent “best friend getaway.” The song, entitled “When I Get Close,” was written by Sarah and Jenn while the girls were snowed in with their best friend, Sara Kauss, at Connecticut’s The Mayflower Grace. “When I Get Close” is an ethereal ode that was inspired by the recent passing of Sarah’s grandfather. The girls included the line “do the angels sing, as pretty as I do?” as Sarah’s grandfather often equated Sarah’s serene sound to that of an angel.
Jenn Bostic, singer/songwriter and chart topper overseas, wrapped up the night with a versatile set leaving the audience eagerly anticipating what would come next. Jenn kicked off her portion of the show with Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason” while instantaneously proving her vocal range and musicality. Throughout her set, Jenn bounced back and forth between covers and originals and guitar and keyboard, showing off her lovable sense of humor, sensitivity, and songwriting sensibility.
Jenn introduced almost every song with a story or dedication, explaining the meaning behind her own lyrics or why she chose a specific cover. Jenn’s first original song of the night, “Missin’ a Man,” was written for her husband, Michael, whom Jenn explained is incredibly supportive of her music and never prevents her from traveling to different states and countries to follow her dream. “Missin’ a Man,” which can be found on Jenn’s album, Jealous of the Angels, is a bluesy track that encourages audience participation with the contagious chorus. Jenn also performed other originals such as “Superstar,” a quirky song about fame not being all glitz and glamour; “Lookin’ A Lot Like Love,” a new song that veers more toward Jenn’s pop music side; and “Change,” which was written in a feisty moment when Jenn was told she was “too country for pop and too pop for country” by an unnamed record label. With each original song, rather than asking yourself what genre Jenn belongs in, you found yourself asking what genre Jenn does not belong in.
The highlight of this soulful singer’s set was the remarkable original song, “Not Yet,” which sets Jenn apart as a paragon of musical precision and poise. “Not Yet” will tug at your heartstrings and will leave you breathless, but in the most rewarding of ways. Anybody with an appreciation for undeniable talent will become an instant fan of this song. Jenn also paid homage to her favorite singer, Bonnie Raitt, taking on a couple of Raitt’s hits, and the creme de la creme of Raitt’s catalog, “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” was no obstacle for this impeccable vocalist.
These three extremely different artists ended the night on stage together, covering A Great Big World’s “Say Something” (the video of which is embedded below). Despite their differences as individual artists, the three connected seamlessly as if pieces of a puzzle coming together to create one picture. With Emily taking the lead vocals, Jenn providing keyboard and background vocals, and Sarah lending her elegant vocals as additional supplementation, the audience fell silent witness to the scene before them. It was a wonderful note to end the night on, seeing how music truly has the ability to bring people together and create an unspeakable bond.
Aside from sharing their musical gifts with Jupiter, Florida, the three girls diligently interacted with the audience, took pictures, and spent time speaking with anyone who wanted to stay for a bit after the show ended. It was simply impossible not to replay the evening on your drive home, taking time to sit back and absorb the immense amount of talent you just observed on one stage. It goes without saying that everyone who attended this special event left having three new favorite artists to support: Sarah with fifty-three Grand Ole Opry performances under her belt and endless opportunities before her; Jenn with a #1 song in the United Kingdom and inevitable #1’s all over the world; and Emily with her entire career in front of her and so much talent and experience as a foundation for that career. We actively promoted this event as “a night to remember,” and an unforgettable night it was, indeed.
***Special thank you to photographer and creator of the event, Sara Kauss and her assistant, Alyssa Wald, as well as Tiki 52 in Jupiter, Florida, Miller Lite, and For the Linds for their sponsorships and support.***
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