K.D. Lang At The Beacon Theatre, Monday, March 28th, 2018, Reviewed
“Welcome to the Ingénue, 25th Anniversary, 26th actually but what that represents is that we’re a bunch of gay Seniors….” Has it really been that long since K.D. hung up her spurs and quit country for adult contemporary torch songs and became a superstar? Ingénue is a breakthrough lesbian classic from 1992, with a full rock band ensemble (by which I mean that the strings heavy album has none on stage), and a voice that, at 55 years of age, remains a perfect and passionate instrument.
The audience had their own fair share of lesbians with gray in their hair, true, but it had a whole lotta couples as well -a phenomenon I noted at that Tegan And Sara concert last year by the way, due to bi-sexual women and crossover, and were extremely appreciative of K.D. ‘s expanded by twenty minutes presentation of Ingénue between applause and the addition of instrumental passages.
K.D. Lang is a very pleasant singer, I don’t mean her voice, I mean her attitude, the way she breaks into dance mid song, the way she brings the songs to life with a deeply reactive “The Mind Of Love,” with its “Can your heart conceal what the mind of love reveals” sorrow. This was followed by the accordion based “Miss Chatelaine” that included Lang performing a cha cha. The high spirits weren’t entirely diluted by the deeper, darker, more dramatic torch-y moments like the penultimate song of the album, “Tears Of Love Recalled”.
A word about opening act duo from Australia The Grigoryan Brothers, who performed guitar instrumental with such flow and intensity, such ease and sweet sounding guitars and engrossing guitar interplay, it seemed to defy its limitations. Whether playing originals or takes on Tchaikovsky songs (yes, songs), they had the entire audience on a pleasure rush.
The Grigoryan Brothers came on at 730pm and left by 8pm. Lang arrived at 820pm and that, my friends, is how to make friends. The stage was lovely, and the seven piece band, in a semi circle around Lang, who, in a lovely blue suit (not a pant suit). seemed to be glowing. The pianist took a number of very intense solos I certainly don’t remember from the album but enjoyed nevertheless, and the sound remained torch-y songs of romantic malaise till a show stopping performance of her huge hit but with expansions on the stand up bass based “Season Of Hollow Soul,” a glorious stand up bass and piano based pas de deux, the very next song was a terrific “Outside Myself,” that seemed like a huge expansion of the original with a long and glorious instrumental section that Phish should cover. All leading to the final song on the album, the smash hit breakthrough “Constant Craving” which had the, hardly reticent to start with, audience howling with pleasure.
Lang then introduced the band and performed five more songs, including a clutch of covers and ending with fellow countryman Leonard Cohen’s well over performed “Hallelujah” but at least she knows how to sing it.