Concert review and photos: 5 things we learned from Meghan Trainor’s Atlanta concert

Girl power! Photo: Melissa Ruggieri/AJC

Girl power! Photo: Melissa Ruggieri/AJC

Almost exactly a year ago, Meghan Trainor was forced to cancel her Atlanta concert – and her tour – because of a nagging vocal cord issue.

That show was scheduled at The Tabernacle.

On Thursday night, Trainor, 22, performed to a sold-out crowd at Chastain Park Amphitheatre – a notable upgrade in size – and since last year has updated her resume to include a Grammy Award and a sophomore album (“Thank You”) that has already spawned a pair of hits.

Here are five things we learned from her concert – a 90-minute exercise in breezy fun.

1. Watching Trainor perform her giddy pop songs, it’s almost as if she hails from another era, one when voluptuous women were revered and songs as airy as whipped cream ruled the charts. She even pulled out a ukulele – which shimmered to match her dress – during “Just a Friend to You” and made the uncelebrated instrument look cool. Trainor’s songs are rooted in ‘60s girl group buoyancy and live, with a seven-piece band in matching blue suits – including live brass – and four dancers/backup singers, her doo-wop-ish piffles such as “Lips Are Movin’” and “Mom” thrived with throwback sophistication.

2. While the crowd was dotted with college-aged students – including several young men who seemed especially interested in filming opener Hailee Steinfeld in her lacquered black catsuit – Trainor’s audience skews young. Very young. Young as in booster seats and sit-on-dad’s-shoulders. While the more adult theme of Steinfeld’s “Starving” likely went over their heads, they’re the ideal audience for Trainor’s fizzy, danceable songs that all possess a similar melodic thrust. That doesn’t make “Woman Up,” “Good to be Alive” and her sassy breakthrough “All About That Bass” any less fun – only a bit same-y.

Opener Hailee Steinfeld. Photo: Melissa Ruggieri/AJC

Opener Hailee Steinfeld. Photo: Melissa Ruggieri/AJC

3. Trainor possesses an appealing husky voice, which was spotlighted on the ballads “Kindly Calm Me Down,” “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” and “Hopeless Romantic,” for which her only accompaniment came from her guitarist (side note – even with fans blowing air on stage, Trainor cracked at one point about the wretchedly humid weather, “I’m not sure I’ve sweat this much in my entire life.” She seemed grateful to reach the quieter part of the show).

4. Because she’s of the generation where every moment is recorded – whether necessary or not – fans received an extensive look at her off-stage world through the videos that played on the large, effective screen hanging behind her.

5. As evidenced in her recent interview with Howard Stern, Trainor is rarely guarded and even though a greater helping of spontaneous banter might have been expected from someone so freeform, Trainor makes sure her fans leave her show emboldened and empowered. She did, after all, call the song “No” for a reason.

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