Concert Review: Imogen Heap at the Fillmore Miami Beach, June 2

Imogen Heap
The Fillmore Miami Beach
Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Better Than:
Having tea at the lady's place.

The Review:

The Fillmore Miami Beach could have been called, well, the Imogen Heap last night. It wasn't so much that the British chanteuse owned the room (though, in an odd way, she did do that too). It was more like we'd been invited into her home for a visit, rather than a concert, in which we hung around while she chatted easily.

Oh, there were songs sung, and Heap knew how to sing them. But there was an intimacy to the show that kept things casual. Yes, in many ways it felt like a lazy Sunday afternoon at Heap's house, and we all were the guests of honor.

Then again, what else would we expect from one of the most accessible pop stars in the business? As I mentioned in last week's preview, Heap's made a habit of reaching out to her fanbase in intimately participatory ways. So it only makes sense that she'd welcome everyone as if they were old friends. And for the most part the crowd seemed more than happy to oblige -- tittering nervously when she appeared to be, well, tittering nervously, shouting out responses and snapping photos when asked to do so, and chuckling with appreciation every time Heap held forth with more back story.

And boy was there back story, so much in fact that it's kinda difficult to recall all she explained between songs. One between-song bit that does stand out is when Heap conjured an eerie resonance from a set of wineglasses onstage, delivering a version of "Last Train Home" that transcended its recorded version.

I remember, too, how watching her come up with a piece of music on the spot (which she's doing on every date on this tour) felt as if we'd been let in on Heap's creation process. And yes, I remember thinking that the crowd's wide-eyed response to each and every song she sung most certainly had something to do with the notion that this show would be unlike any other show ever.

In many aspects it was just that -- a truly unique experience in the annals of pop concerts. Yes, Heap came through with her hits, large and small: "Wait it Out," "Let Go," "Goodnight and Go" and "Hide and Seek," as well as the aforementioned "Last Train." And yes, Heap held forth with her patented brand of electronic wizardry in a fluently organic manner. She was joined onstage by a gaggle of odd singers and instrumentalists, and she sang with spot-on soul. But it was the whole of all that happened which set apart Heap's Fillmore showing, the whole that, for two hours anyway, made the place her home.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias:
If you read my preview you'll see I got to chat up the chick prior to her Miami stand. I also caught the lady back at the late Studio A. So yeah, I feel a certain something about her and her career.

Random Detail:
Despite Heap's aural wonder, one of last night's absolute highlights was when three young local teens joined her onstage for an a cappella rendering of "Earth." It was something to behold, and the crowd went wild in kind. 

By the Way:
You can download Heap's improv song (and help support Miami Children's Hospital's Radio Lollipop) by visiting her site.

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John Hood

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