Tori Kelly Invites Birmingham to Her Hiding Place

All are welcome in Tori Kelly’s hiding place.

The Grammy-nominated songstress paid the Magic City a visit for her Hiding Places tour, which is in support of her recent record of the same name. New music, new venue. The sold-out show marked the American Idol turned YouTube star’ return to Birmingham. Kelly played a sold-out show at Iron City in 2016.

Throughout the 90-minute concert, the message was love, acceptance and good music. Additionally, Kelly’s recent shift to Gospel didn’t blanket over her previous secular records. Instead, it bolstered her performance by giving attendees a glimpse into her spiritual side. This was not the show to be late for as there was no opening artist.

Kicking off the show with upbeat tracks “Masterpiece” and “Hollow”, Kelly welcomed the crowd before explaining that despite everyone beliefs and creeds, the 90-minute concert is a safe place. The sea of fans erupted in thunderous support before Kelly launched into soulful tracks “Sunday” and “Unbreakable Smile.” In between tracks, Kelly dialogued with audience, giving backstories to tracks from the new record that she co-wrote with Gospel giant Kirk Franklin.

While pumping tracks from “Hiding Place”, Kelly often segued into some her classic songs from 2016’s “Unbreakable” and her EP “Forward”. This included a fun acoustic medley of “Dear No One”, “All in My Head” and a rousing performance of “Nobody Love.”

When Kelly performed some of her Gospel selections, the Lyric Theatre turned briefly turned into a church. Hands reached to the heavens. Tears cascaded down faces. Attendees shouted out praises. Unfortunately, Franklin and her other collaborators didn’t make a surprise appearance, but that’s not to say she didn’t have the next best thing. Using her roster of talented vocalists, Kelly recreated some of her biggest collabs with ease.

In lieu of Jonathan McReynolds, Kelly brought out backing vocalist Brandon Winbush for the gospel-inspired ballad “Just as Sure.”

Towards the end of the show, Kelly got emotional with the audience, dedicating the next track to those that are going through a hardship before launching into a chilling and heartfelt “ Psalms 42”, which was followed by a medley of “ Questions” and a Lecrae-less “ I’ll Find You.”

Encouraging attendees to get on their feet, Kelly closed out the show with her cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry About Thing” from the animated music “Sing!”.  Shortly after departing the stage, the crowd demanded more, shouting her name in unison. Returning to now stripped stage, save 4 chairs, Tori and her backing vocalists launched into acapella versions of “Soul’s Anthem (It Is Well)” and “Never Alone.”

Kelly’s return to Alabama was a memorable experience. It might be years before the versatile artist returns to the Magic City, whenever and wherever she performs, it will be a safe, hiding place.

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