Review: k.d. lang @ Burton Cummings Theatre
My Mom is my biggest fan, but I don’t go to shows with her often. As a matter of fact, she told me tonight that she hadn’t been to The Burt since it was a movie theatre. What?! Anyway, my Mom likes k.d. lang (and I love my Mom), so off we went to see k.d. at The Burt (the old Odeon Cinema – for those that haven’t been since 1945).
We sat in the second balcony and it was literally packed to the rafters with female Baby Boomers (and those who love them). Usually I’m cold up there, but tonight I was toasty. Aaaahhh…the warm glow of hot flashing Baby Boomers…aaaahhh.
I was so happy to hear that Joey Landreth was opening for k.d. I’m familiar with his music and the more I see him, the more I’m convinced he’s a Winnipeg treasure. Unfortunately, not everyone in the second balcony took the opportunity to find that out.
Joey’s harder/louder songs fared much better than his softer, more touching tunes due to the incessant conversations at full volume in the second balcony. Loud audiences drive me insane, but this time it kind of made me sad. If those people could just be quiet for 5 minutes, they would have experienced the heartfelt “Whiskey” and the peaks and valleys in “Still Feel Gone”. They may have discovered something new, something beautiful and something local.
Oh well…I know…and now my Mom knows. And I hope someone else in that theatre discovered Joey tonight too.
The purple velvet curtains opened and there stood barefooted k.d. lang in a black suit. “Save Me”, the first track off Ingénue sounded dreamy and floaty and the crowd was completely silent.
Her band was super tight during “The Mind Of Love” and when k.d. pulled her mic away while singing, I could feel her unmic’d voice clearly in the second balcony. It was lovely.
I loved the accordion in “Miss Chatelaine” and so did k.d., as she melodramatically ran over to it as Daniel Clarke started playing. Then she danced around on stage and I started getting goosebumps. I was never a huge k.d. lang fan, but man, she’s really got a beautiful voice.
After that tune, k.d. addressed the audience. She explained that this was the 25th anniversary tour for her album Ingénue and that it was a meditative record and she encouraged us to become hypnotized by it.
With that, the band started into the slow and dreamy “Wash Me Clean”. I really enjoyed the Latin flavoured, “Still Thrives This Love” which was dreamy as well.
k.d. told us she was walking in Vancouver’s Stanley Park a lot during the writing of the record and she was amazed at all the green. One day she saw a fallen cedar tree and two trees were growing out of the dead tree. This image became the inspiration for the beautiful “Season Of Hollow Soul”.
I loved David Piltch’s bass solo in “Outside Myself”. It was melodic and bass solos are not something I hear very often in songs anymore. Well done.
Fan favourite, “Constant Craving” finished off the album and k.d. intro’d her band. She spent a significant amount of time telling us little things about each member.
Then it was back into the set with a song off case/lang/veirs called “Honey and Smoke”. After that tune, k.d. questioned why Canadians like to talk about the weather so much. She told us she used to live in L.A. where they never talk about the weather because the weather was always the same. She said she was glad to be back in Canada so she could talk about the weather, and then it was right into “I Dream Of Spring”.
Next, she spoke about Canada’s 150th anniversary and how she was proud to be Canadian. She marveled at how everyone wants to be Canadian and then told us she had been thinking about climate a lot and discovered the most toxic pollutant is hatred. She told us she thought Canada was leading the way in compassion and inclusivity.
To finish off the set, she sang three tunes from Canadian singer/songwriters. The first one was Joni Mitchell’s “Help Me”, which she told us she sang in front of Mitchell and it was “terrifying” because Joni’s music is “tattooed on my musical DNA”.
Maybe it was the suit, but at this point I felt like I was watching a crooner. Someone who’s worked at this a long time and paid their dues and they’ve reached a certain level of success. She was so comfortable, like she’d done this more than she hadn’t.
The second song was Neil Young’s “Helpless” which I loved. Later in the song, k.d.’s voice cracked for a split second and my arms were covered in goose bumps. There’s nothing I like more than a well rehearsed, tight band with a polished singer who’s also a real person with a real voice.
The third song was obviously Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, which k.d. does an incredible job on. I could feel the anticipation in the crowd as she started to sing and the song built and her voice and heartfelt performance was incredible and I almost started to cry. It was just amazing and I highly doubt anyone would say it wasn’t. The second floor rose to their feet after it was over. k.d. took a bow and walked off stage.
k.d. and the band came back out for the three song encore. After “Sing It Loud”, she thanked Joey and thanked us for supporting live music. “I Confess” and “Sleeping Alone” ended the show to a standing ovation.
I was never really a big k.d. lang fan. I didn’t dislike her, I just didn’t pay attention to her music. After seeing her live, I have much more respect for her and a deeper appreciation for her voice. That was really nice and I’d see her again.
P.S. Check out my video of k.d. and her band playing “Constant Craving” here:
Right now…k.d. lang @ Burton Cummings Theatre
Posted by Ticketmomster on Sunday, August 27, 2017
TicketMOMster is a Rock and Jazz-loving Mom; single-handedly keeping Ticketmaster alive in Winnipeg. Follow her musical journey here: www.facebook.com/TicketMOMs