Concert Review: Emily King @ The Anthem (11/20/19)

Emily King at Coachella
Emily King at Coachella (Photo from FB @emilykingmusic)

‘Dancing isn’t against the rules!’ – Emily King

Emily King warmed up the burgeoning audience at The Anthem on November 20th, in advance of Sara Bareilles’ set for the Amidst the Chaos Tour. This was the second of two nights, almost the last show of the tour, and was a rare fully seated concert at The Anthem. Sara actually came out to introduce Emily and thank everyone filing in for arriving early to witness her amazing friend.

Emily King is from New York City and is touring for her third album, Scenery (via ATO), along with a remix version she put out in October. Three band members joined her at the front of the stage, since the curtains were drawn tight in anticipation of some amazing reveal for Sara Bareilles’ set (presumably).

Emily kicked off with “The Switch”, about turning on your charming side especially when you’re alone with your significant other, so as not to take them for granted.

It wasn’t just an opening warm-up set however, she has been nominated for two Grammy Awards this year (ceremony held on January 26, 2020), for Best R&B Song (for her single “Look at Me Now”) and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical (for her album Scenery).

So of course she didn’t make us wait long for the Grammy nominee in question. “Look At Me Now” came next, about living the best break-up revenge by doing well and finding someone new, but still yearning for what you once had. Emily’s breathy voice and the song’s production reminded me of a stage song you’d hear in a Broadway musical. She also danced and enjoyed herself in a half-jacket that Prince would’ve been proud to own. She performed 10 songs in total (in 40 minutes), including four from Grammy-nominated Scenery.

Later the soulful, big sounds of “Go Back” resonated across the near capacity seats on the main floor. People were paying full attention now, and Emily was keen to get the crowd dancing throughout her set, and even joked about it not being against the rules.

“BYIMM” stands for By You I Mean Me, where she was a flurry of motion, dancing across the stage, arms spread wide, voice to the sky, singing the tongue-in-cheek R&B groove about a bad relationship.

Emily ended with the gospelesque “Remind Me”, about being reminded of love, something that has been missing for awhile.

The big reveal for Sara Bareilles’ set was a huge 30-40 foot high ‘chandelier’ of letters  (let’s assume fan letters). At one point, Sara paused during her set to chat with the audience (something she loved doing), she called Emily back on stage, where they teased each other, and Sara gushed about how great Emily’s music is and how they’ve been good friends for a long time. They then performed a new song they wrote together called “If I Can’t Have You”, about getting by somehow when the person you love leaves you.

During their chat, we saw the ‘worst high five in history’ and learned that Emily’s nickname for Sara is ‘Beans’. Sara once gave her a delicious turkey chili recipe without beans that changed her life (according to Emily beans are something she ‘can’t eat if she wants to fit’ in her concert attire).

Find out what all the Grammy love is about, and get yourself a copy of Scenery and be on the look out for her next visit to DC!

The Switch
Look At Me Now
No More Room
Go Back
Can’t Hold Me
Remind Me

Author: Jeremy Bailey

Writer and editor living in Washington, D.C.

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