The Highline Ballroom in New York City was abuzz Thursday night, due in part to the seemingly endless supply of coffee available, but largely due to the star power present. In support of October being Fair Trade Month, GRAMMY-Award Winner Kelly Clarkson partnered with Green Mountain Coffee for an exclusive concert to raise awareness for the cause.
The Highline Ballroom was equal parts chic urban concert hall and Peruvian mountainside, with colorful tapestries adorning the booths and centerpieces made of coffee beans. Photos of Clarkson’s journey to Peru flanked the tables, while the big screen flashed images and facts about fair trade.
Supported by only a pianist and 2 guitarists, Clarkson treated fans to an intimate acoustic performance that showcased some of the most powerful vocal chords in the music industry today. She kicked off the show with her classic, “Since You Been Gone,” before segueing into other favorites like “Walk Away,” “Behind These Hazel Eyes,” “People Like Us” and “Stronger.”
Clarkson’s voice was in fine form, despite her apologizing for sounding a little “Janis,’ due to a whirlwind promotional schedule that included a 4:30 AM wake-up call for Good Morning America. Highlights of her set included a stripped-down solo version of “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” proving that holograms aren’t always necessary. Another high point of her set was a masterful & emotional rendition of fan-favorite “Sober” from the unfairly maligned My December album.
In-between songs, Clarkson charmingly engaged with the audience like she was in a room full of her closest friends, lamenting the state of her toes pre-pedicure, recalling being a “mess” (but not an alcoholic) when she wrote the metaphoric “Sober,” and remarking that she was glad her tour was over so she can get married. In between her amusing banter, she recalled anecdotes from her trip to Peru, including a visit to the coffee farmers and their children.
While the concert itself was held in an intimate venue, it was streamed to fans across the Internet via Green Mountain Coffee’s Facebook page. It will re-air on October 24th and we’d recommend catching it if you have a chance. We were there, but it was so good that we just may have to watch it again.