Grace Carter Concert Review

Watching live music is up there with one of my favourite things to do; I just get such a buzz from watching musicians create music in front of my very eyes and there's nothing like an intimate setting for watching a rising star sing their hearts out. After introducing my flatmates to the soulful tunes of Grace Carter, they were instantly hooked and we decided we wanted to try and get tickets to watch her live. Much to our delight, we discovered Grace Carter was performing in Paris and we worked fast to get our hands on tickets and we were pleasantly surprised to learn the tickets weren't expensive at all and the venue, La Bellevilloise, seemed to be very intimate, cosy and just plain inviting for this kind of music.

When we arrived at La Bellevilloise on the night - after what seemed like a trek and a half on the 3 metro - we were squealing in excitement as the venue was on a very unassuming road with not much else around, yet you walked through a plant-adorned walkway into a buzzing oasis of a place that was actually a restaurant (minds = blown). We were a little perplexed at first, but were quickly directed to a door on the right-hand side, which took us down to a much more concert-like hall that was incredibly small, with a bar on one end of the room and a small floorspace in front of an equally petite stage. We decided to head straight to the bar to get a drink and after a little mishap with my friend's mojito (god knows what that drink was but I can tell you now it was not a mojito, even though I am far from being a mojito connoisseur) we assumed our place nicely near the front of the stage, directly behind the tallest person in the room...

Grace made her beautifully elegant-yet-super-cool entrance onto the stage accompanied with a toe-tapping beat and a huge grin beaming across her face. She began her set with "It Don't Hurt Like It Used To" a sort of sassy yet emotional song that showed off her impressive vocal range whilst also providing a cool beat for us to dance to. She just seemed so at ease with being on stage and it was genuinely uplifting to see an artist enjoy themselves in what looks like their natural habitat. She was so close to us that we often made eye contact with her (particularly because we were screaming her lyrics back to her at the top of our scrappy little lungs), which was such a satisfying and heart-warming feeling knowing that we were encouraging her by demonstrating our word-for-word regurgitation of her lyrics but also that we were able to engage with the artist herself because the setting was just so wonderfully personal.

The set fluctuated between upbeat songs and the more slow, emotional ones, however, we adored every single tune because of their witty lyrics and melodious tunes that you cant help but sing along to. She even debuted some new material that nobody had ever heard before, which was a special moment for everyone but also gave us an exciting taster for what is to come from her growing career. She exuded confidence yet humbleness, sweetness yet sassiness and nothing but pure, raw, unapologetic emotion. She explained how most of her lyrics are informed by her upsetting past and turbulent, almost non-existent relationship with her absent father, even breaking down into tears during a few of her songs. It was genuinely heartbreaking to watch this young girl sing about what could possibly be one of the worst feelings you can undergo in this world, but with such strength, power and character in her voice; I just fell more and more in love with every second I was watching her.

Everything just exuded cool-girl vibes. From her Urban Outfitters-esque outfit (perfectly finished off with a pair of white, patent heeled boots...SO COOL) to her confident demeanour on stage, she was absolutely mesmerising to watch. She was wonderful at engaging with the crowd, moving around the stage and changing up the tempo to keep us on our toes. My favourite section was probably when it was just her and the pianist alone on stage and she was singing more of her down-beat material, including her cover of Wicked Game. Her voice was incredibly smooth, like a pot of silky, melted Galaxy chocolate that just raised the hairs on the back of my spine and gave me genuine goosebumps (even though I was wearing layers and it was warm inside). Her vibrato sent shivers down my spine and you could just tell she was becoming a master at her craft - she knew exactly where her voice belonged and paradoxically, despite her troublesome childhood, her voice had such a phenomenal sense of identity it was like a big, beautiful elephant in the room except it was apparent to everyone that this girl knew exactly how to use her voice.

It was gut-wrenchingly, beautiful set that tugged at your heartstrings but ultimately displayed this girl's pure talent and humble attitude that does nothing but charm the audience. It was blindingly obvious how grateful she was for the opportunity to perform, and it felt like a real pleasure to be in her presence; almost as though we were watching a singer about to be shot into stardom, enjoying her proximity and accessibility before she rockets off into a dazzling career that leaves her with millions of screaming fans in a sold-out 02 arena.


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