Christina Perri’s homecoming to Pennsylvania on the Demi World Tour was nothing short of spectacular, from start to finish she focused on the music and kept things low key. There was no flashy intro, no grand entrance, no over kill of production; just her walking out with a coffee mug in her hand, smiling and waving to the crowd for a minute she sat down behind a beautiful white piano where she would spend a fair amount of the evening. In a music scene where drama and production are pushed so heavily it was refreshing to see Christina Perri shy away from these to do things the way she has always done them, regardless of the size venue she was playing in. The Hershey Giant Center was packed to near capacity by the time she went on just past 8:20PM that Friday evening and a fair amount (close to half of them) could be seen wearing all sorts of Christina Perri attire, a true homecoming for sure.
Having a small time slot in which to perform Perri raced against the clock to give her fans every song they could possibly want to hear, beginning the night with “Jar of Hearts.” The instant she struck the first few notes on the piano the crowd began to sing along with her, something that would continue for the entirety of her set actually. As Perri sat behind her piano playing “Jar of Hearts” you could see her pouring every emotion she had while writing that song into the live performance, maybe even out doing the studio version to an extent just due to the level of emotion she brought. As the song came to an end her stage came to life, switching from a majestic purple wash to a deep blue with thousands of lights turning her backdrop into what looked like a starry night. As the transition happened Perri moved out from behind her piano and walked around the stage as she performed “Shot Me in the Heart.” She commanded the stage and made the most of what she had available to her, using the long runway to get out into the crowd a bit and dancing across the entirety of it all while delivering countless perfect notes.
As the second song came to an end Perri sat back at her Piano and began singing “”Arms,” transforming the song from the version many of us know from the album into something that can’t be described with words. While performing live, Christina Perri’s voice is able to shine in ways that it can’t on a recording. Every word is full of emotion for her and she delivers them with an intensity that no other singer in her genre, or any genre can. She took a moment early in the set to wish her mother a happy birthday and talked about how great it was to come home in a sense.
Christina Perri’s performance was next level, that is the only way to categorize it and not to cause any bad blood or controversy but she in all honesty out performed every other artist that night (not that it was a competition but she deserves the credit). Her excellence extends far behind her vocal talent though, her whole attitude and on stage character is exactly what music needs right now. The music industry is over saturated with artists that are over producing themselves and being extremely over the top, Christina Perri proves that coffee shop basics are all you need to be a true musician and that you don’t need any drama to be the best in the industry.
All that being said she puts her attention to good use, her stage design compliments her music perfectly and is a lighting masterpiece. The lighting should never over power the performance, so many artists are drowning themselves in lights and pyro instead of using them to their advantage like Perri does. A white backdrop with lights behind it is a simple concept but the results are more stunning than any strobe light or LED screen could possible deliver. There is no musician out there with better lighting and I think that the industry needs to take notes about her stage production because it truly was magnificent.
Her setlist was just 9 songs long but she managed to fill it with plenty of songs for fans of all types, the casual and the dedicated, even finding a chance to work in a cover of Coldplay in the middle of the set. Her setlist for the Hershey show was as follows :
Jar of Hearts
Shot Me in the Heart
Be My Forever
A Thousand Years
A Sky Full of Stars (Coldplay cover)
The night came to an end quickly, but this was to be expected because an opener’s slot is never a full amount of time. I will confidently say that the next time Christina Perri returns to the Giant Center she will be headlining and fans will get a full dosage of her music. Her time on the Demi World Tour was a great opportunity for her to convert some fans over and give them a taste of what she is trying to do. If Christina Perri keeps it up the future of music to be lowkey, beautifully illuminated, and emotionally powerful. Do yourself a favor, go see Christina Perri on her next tour because no other artist will leave you with the feeling of hope for the music industry that she does, our generation has found the next big thing and she’s only getting started.