By Ken DeLaat
With Sarah Potenza (along with Meghan Linsey...BONUS) making a return trip to the Dogwood Center Black Box this Friday we thought it appropriate to resurrect this review done during her last appearance two years ago.
May, 2016- Sarah Potenza didn’t just make a return visit to The Dogwood’s Black Box Saturday she took the place by storm capturing a grateful audience with her hard driving vocals and commanding stage presence.
Ms. Potenza doesn’t just deliver her songs she transcends them into musical monologues as she takes hold of the stories within the songs and wrings every ounce of emotion out of them.
Between songs Ms. Potenza engages her audience with a freshness that comes from the nature of her delivery. Nothing is canned or rehearsed as she allows herself to wander from topic to topic always dispensing the anecdotes she shares with humor, candor and a level of self acceptance that is refreshing.
There were stories about 7th grade gym class, her signature big white glasses (best $78 I ever spent) her first concert (Bonnie Raitt-age 14), life of the road, and her time on The Voice. She expressed her love for Bernie Sanders, spoke of her fondness for fellow Voice contestant (and local favorite) Josh Davis, and her longing for the pre-cell phone and pre caller i.d. days when “every call was like a mystery”.
Then coming out of a story she would cut loose with those distinctive vocals and take command of the room. With Ian scoring on some nasty lead licks Sarah belted out a series of songs with each lingering with the listener until being absorbed by her next offering.
The highlight of the night was when she took on the Leonard Cohen classic “Hallelujah”. Despite previous covers that are definitely listen-worthy this ballad took on a whole new meaning in the capable hands of this gifted performer. Reaching the depths of pure passion this time honored piece allows, Sarah absolutely drove this number home with a stunning performance that brought the crowd in the Box to their feet. In this listeners mind you can deed this song over to Ms. Potenza because after her masterful rendition she certainly deserves to own it.
Anyone who was there would agree that a return visit by this talented lady would be a most welcome event indeed.
And if you have yet to experience this highly entertaining artist, make sure you climb on board if she visits again.
It is so worth the trip.
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