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On Tuesday, December 16th, Amber Riley performed to a sold out crowd at The El Rey Theater in Los Angeles, CA.
I had a hell of a time, let me tell you. Ms. Riley opened with "What Christmas Means To Me" and followed with a ton of great Christmas songs, but also included some of her favorite covers.
Amber was so incredibly into the show and it showed in some places where you could see her and the person she was performing with stop to giggle or laugh. Endearing, to say the least. She had a jam-packed list of special guest which included B. Slade, Jordin Sparks, Kierra Sheard, Tori Kelly, Alex Newell, Shoshana Bean and Faith Evans.
Her friends were in attendance as well, from Glee
. Kevin McHale, Becca Tobin, Jacob Artist, Harry Shum Jr. could all be seen thoroughly enjoying themselves from the balcony above the crowd. Crowd-fave and YouTube-powerhouse Tori Kelly had everyone bopping along to a riff-emblazoned rendition of "Sleigh Ride"!
Her rendition of Sam Smith’s "Stay With Me" was everything you could ever want and when she started Meghan Trainor’s "All About That Bass", the crowd went wild. Definitely one of the best moments of the night.
The most special moment of the night came when Amber introduced her mother, Tiny Riley, and they sang "Just A Prayer Away", which she dedicated to her brother and friend, Cory Monteith. Amber was a bit choked up, but both she and her mother sang beautifully. I will admit, I shed a few tears.
Amber’s duet with Alex Newell (Unique; Glee
) was everything. When Amber preluded to her next special guest on an episode of McRiley (which you can listen to on Dash Radio every friday), she said: “It’s the Glee
duet that never happened, but should have,” and she was right. Their voices blended so well together and it was like watching two veterans give you life every second of the song.
There were times where Amber proudly showed us her faith. Her duet with Kierra Sheard and "Joy To The World", where she was backed by a choir, definitely took us to church.
Ms. Riley ended the night with a rendition of "This Christmas". She brought out Faith Evans and the two of them perfectly delivered a great ending to an already amazing night. At one point, Amber said, “I can’t even sing. I just gotta look at her sing.” She had her fangirl moments, too.
At the end of the night, Amber thanked everyone for coming and said, “See you next year!” So, if you couldn’t make it to this show, be sure to look out for another show next Christmas. I promise you, it’s worth it! (And you may even see some of your favorite celebrities while you’re there!)
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