A LocalBozo.com Concert Review
The Box, New York, NY
September 16, 2014
Concert Review: Bebe Rexha at The Box
In just a quarter-century, Bebe Rexha has already achieved a level of stardom that most aspiring musicians dream about. She’s had writing credits on songs for Madonna and Selena Gomez, hand delivered anthemic pop choruses to Eminem and Rihanna and she’s even been the featured performer for some of her own penned works on Cash Cash‘s 2013 hit “Take Me Home.” With the release of her first single as a lead (“I Can’t Stop Drinking About You” dropped earlier this year), Bebe Rexha looks like the next artist to crack the pop charts- with a presence about her that far exceeds her years.
Tuesday night, Lower East Side burlesque space The Box would play host to a showcase of Rexha’s talents. Presented by Warner Bros. Records, the live set brought out a few hundred lucky New Yorkers to cram the ornate space in anticipation of the singer’s performance. Backed by a sole drummer and guitar player, the nearly forty minute show would cater to Rexha’s penchant for on-stage theatrics, punctuated by catchy songwriting and the relatable subject matter of a 25 year old coming to grips with becoming an adult.
Though the intimate space is normally reserved for a late night cavalcade of oddities, The Box proved to be a perfect venue for Bebe Rexha’s performance. The velvet curtains opened wide promptly at 9pm to reveal Rexha’s backing musicians before she’d emerge amid a cloud of fog to unapologetically grab the microphone. Briefly donning a layer of sunglasses and an overcoat, Rexha would eschew both following show opener “Pray,” revealing a leather crop top- a more appropriate ensemble given the setting. Fortunately Rexha’s pipes were as strong as her stage presence and her enigmatic style was utterly captivating as she paced through tracks like “Monster Under My Bed” (which would become Eminem’s “The Monster”), “Starlight” and the defiant “Show You Crazy.”
Capping the show off by thanking the family and friends in attendance that had supported her along the journey, Rexha closed out the abbreviated show with her first single which had much of the audience singing alongside her. Her violent gyrations bouncing around on the floor of the stage only served to rev up the crowd even further as she seemed energetically overtaken by her own music. The live band to their credit added a pleasantly gritty element to the showcase, yielding a far more impressive performance than if Rexha had simply performed over an audio track. And impressive was the operative term that we were left with after seeing Bebe Rexha doing her thing live and uncompromised.
- Jane Van Arsdale