Review: Carla Morrison Takes Us on a Music Journey at UC Santa Barbara’s Campbell Hall

Grammy Award–Winning Artist Showcases her Latest Album, 'El Renacimiento'

Carla Morrison wowed the sold out crowd at Campbell Hall on October 27, 2022. | Credit: David Bazemore Photo

Carla Morrison’s performance transcended language and lyrics and left members of the audience from all backgrounds alike floored as they were brought on a journey through love, grief, and finally, to happiness.

Morrison was accompanied on stage at Campbell Hall by band members Alejandro Jiménez, Daniel Fraire, and Samuel Felix, and throughout the evening showcased her profuse talents as a singer, songwriter, and, at one point, an impressive whistler at the October 27 performance for UCSB Arts & Lectures. Her talents made way into the raw storytelling and unyielding authenticity characteristic of her music and have resulted in various Grammy nominations and three Latin Grammy wins.

Opening with her well-known song “Eres Tú,” the concert began lightly, displaying Morrison’s powerful vocals and reflections within the reverie of romance. Yet, the initial tone of the night was fleeting, as Morrison mused in between songs, “I know sometimes you guys don’t want to remember your ex, but tonight is the night.”

Carla Morrison performed at Campbell Hall on October 27, 2022. | Credit: Chris Cruz

 As the concert progressed, Morrison performed 23 deeply emotional tracks, including “Encontrarme” and “Hacia Dentro” from her latest album, El Renacimiento

Just as the title notes, Morrison explained, “Tonight is a night of renaissance. You’re allowed to cry; you’re allowed to fall in love … for us to be able to be born again and have our life on our own terms, we need to die a little bit.”

The idea of rebirth surrounded her performance, and the audience witnessed Morrison viscerally sing through her stages of grief, bringing us on an enchanting journey to personal “renaissance.” 

On the topic of working through stages of grieving, Morrison spoke about the stigma behind overcoming mental health challenges, and encouraged the audience with, “You can have anything, but if you don’t have yourself, you have nothing.” The message of her tour truly is one of perseverance, overcoming obstacles, the journey of finding one’s own happiness, and the “renaissance” that can accompany this rebirth.

As the show drew to an end with the track “Diamantes,” bright luminescent lighting signaled that Morrison, and the audience, had reached a point of happiness in their journey of rebirth.

Morrison’s performance not only provided a glimpse into her own personal experiences told throughout her songwriting, but also created a space for audience members to join this journey with her. As Morrison noted, “We’re going to go through this together, because being human is something really beautiful.” 

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