Draper Amphitheater was packed with fans anxiously waiting for Colbie Caillat’s concert to start on Thursday, September 18. The parking lot was full, most people having to park on the streets by the venue and throughout the nearby neighborhood. I thought that my brother and I would be able to find a good spot if we came half an hour early, but I vastly underestimated the number and devotion of her fans. The grassy tiers of the outdoor amphitheater were already mostly full by the time we got there and we were forced to sit at the back.
The concert opened with Justin Young, Caillat’s boyfriend. He played a short fifteen minute set with just his acoustic guitar and his voice. It was short and sweet, but the girls in the front rows screamed every time he sang anything in his silky falsetto.
Caillat’s band came out before she did, making music to accompany a projected video of ocean waves. The crowd screamed when she came on stage singing the upbeat “Live It Up” from her upcoming album Gypsy Heart.
At the beginning of the concert, I was trying to decide if she sounded better live or on her studio albums, but I soon decided that she sounded fantastic either way. However, the difference was that her band sounded better in concert. Some of the songs from Gypsy Heart are more synthesized and auto-tuned than the usual acoustic pop/soft rock tunes she’s known for and those dance-pop songs especially sounded better with a live band.
A few songs into her set, she announced that she was going to have a few special guests. The first one was Jason Mraz, but it was only a video recording of him. Even though it would have been way cooler to have the actual Jason Mraz, I enjoyed watching Caillat sing “Lucky” with a larger than life projection of Mraz.
When Caillat performed “Try,” the first single released from Gypsy Heart, the music video was shown behind her and the band. I got goosebumps. That song truly has a powerful message for women about liking yourself for who you are.
The second special guest was Jason Reeves, a longtime collaborator of Caillat. Again, this was just a recording, but I was surprised and delighted when they performed “Droplets,” my favorite song of hers from the album Breakthrough. Caillat’s warm alto mixed with Reeve’s high tenor and a beautifully arranged acoustic guitar part are simply gorgeous.
My favorite song of the concert was “Realize” from Coco, her first album. Most of the song was the same soulful ballad that I’m familiar with until the lead guitarist played a solo that sounded like it was straight from a rock concert.
For most of the concert, the fans sat politely in their seats. That changed during “Bubbly,” the song that launched Caillat to stardom, when she told the audience they could feel free to stand. It was as if we had been waiting for her permission the entire time. As soon as she said that, fans began mobbing the stage. People began dancing, especially during the next song, the upbeat “Favorite Song” from All of You.
To close, Caillat sang “Brighter Than The Sun.” After she left the stage, the band continued jamming, almost as if they were letting the credits roll at the end of a good movie