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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 2, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 09
'Constant Craving': k.d. lang's brilliant performance at the Moore Theatre left us wanting more
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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'Constant Craving': k.d. lang's brilliant performance at the Moore Theatre left us wanting more

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

k.d. lang
MOORE THEATRE
February 26


From the myriad of singer-songwriters out there, k.d. lang is one of the finest. She's an impeccable vocalist, not the kind who screeches into the microphone to ear-splitting volumes, but she can effortlessly and modestly hit any note she needs to. She's also an excellent songwriter, who combines heartfelt, poetic and sometimes whimsical lyrics with beautiful, melodic backgrounds. As a cover artist, performing and recording classics by Roy Orbison, Leonard Cohen or Joni Mitchell, lang is a celebrated interpreter who can breathe new life into an old song.

This week at the Moore Theatre, fans were treated to a concert by the Canadian musician in which she performed her most recognized work, 1992's Ingénue, in its entirely and in sequential order, a feat that lang jokingly said had 'never been attempted by a band in Seattle'. This particular tour was planned to commemorate the 25-year anniversary of the Grammy-nominated record, released around the time I was finishing college, which was also around the time I came out, so I have a special place in my heart for Ingénue.

She opened with the album's first track, 'Save Me', supported by a five-piece band, two backup singers and several vintage spotlights positioned on raised platforms at the rear of the stage. Dressed in black pants with matching sports coat and white shirt underneath, lang spent most of the concert performing barefoot.

On 'The Mind of Love', the 56 year-old artist migrated from one side of the stage to the other and held onto a note magnificently for what seemed like an eternity. The sprightly 'Miss Chatelaine' was infused with French-Latin flair, while 'Wash Me Clean' displayed lang's brilliant vocal chops.

'Well, here we are, 25 years later,' she addressed the audience, who remained seated throughout the show, although a few couldn't resist standing and dancing for the album's final track. 'We're seniors now. I'm fine with that. Gay seniors.' The crowd chuckled, and a few fellow fans close to me mentioned how comical lang is; indeed, she has a good sense of humor.

'And, to those of you that haven't come out yet, hurry the hell up!' she told everyone, receiving loud cheers in return.

During 'So Shall It Be', three overhead round light fixtures basked the stage in a chartreuse-colored hue. 'Season of Hollow Soul' featured brief guitar and drum solos with about a four-minute jazzy piano outro by Daniel Clarke, who has collaborated with lang for the past 12 years. Going further back is multi-instrumentalist David Piltch, who has worked alongside her for 30 years and has appeared on nearly all of her recordings, including 1989's Absolute Torch and Twang.

'Outside Myself' finished with a little jam session that featured a double bass, while 'Tears of Love's Recall' included a second piano outro. But the song everybody was waiting for, 'Constant Craving', delivered all the feels we were expecting. I loved the rock guitar solo by Rich Henman in the middle and lang's slight alteration on the vocal arrangement; it reminded me of when she performed it on the Grammy Awards telecast in 1993. Triumphantly, lang whipped the microphone above her head like a lasso at the conclusion, closing out the main portion of the concert. The audience gave her a well-deserved standing ovation.

But the show didn't end there. From her collaborative album with Neko Case and Laura Viers, 'imaginatively titled', she quipped, CASE/LANG/VIERS, she pulled out 'Honey and Smoke'. 'I wanted to call the band The Cameltones', lang declared hilariously before she began the number.

And before lunging into 'I Dreamed of Spring', she fastened an acoustic guitar to her back, which drew thunderous applause and whistles from concertgoers.

'That's the kind of reception a girl wants when she straps it on!' she joked with a grin, which drew a louder round of cheers.

She wrapped up the performance with a trio of numbers by fellow Canadians: 'Help Me' by Joni Mitchell, 'Helpless' by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (Young is from Canada), and what's become a signature hit for lang, a soaring cover of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah'.
I try not to use the word 'perfection' lightly, but this concert was the very definition of it. I wouldn't have expected anything less from k.d. lang, however. She's as great as they come.

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