If I had to sum up the K.D. Lang concert (with Lindi Ortega opening) in less than five words, here’s how I’d do it:
K.D. Lang. Hallelujah. Live.
But you probably could’ve guessed that.
The show opened with a great eight song set from Lindi Ortega, an up-and-coming folk/country artist from Toronto, and her band, which consisted of one drummer and one guitarist, both great. I’m not normally so into country, but I really like Lindi Ortega. And she’s really more folky anyway. You can read a bit more about her and her upcoming album here. I would definitely recommend it, along with her first album.
The highlight of Ortega’s set was definitely her vocals. She is an outstanding singer, and she sounds even better live than on her albums. She’s a great performer, and had this little quip for the audience: “I’m half Mexican and half Irish, so I like tequila and Guinness, and burritos and…mashed potatoes.”
Part of the fun of a concert for me is getting to know my neighbours; there’s always an eclectic mix of fans. The audience in general was very middle-aged women heavy, as would be expected. On my right was a couple who had clearly indulged in some, erm, sandwiches (for those How I Met Your Mother fans) and were having the time of their lives, and on my left was a woman who had gone to music school with K.D. Lang at Red Deer College.
Speaking of K.D. Lang…what can be said about a huge international star and an Albertan legend of a singer? These things: her voice is still stellar, her dance moves are so honest, and her sense of humour is unmatched. Who knew K.D. Lang was so funny? Basically, she put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. She’s confident on the stage, and rightly so, and she just seemed like she was having a really great time, which was infectious.
She and her band, the Siss Boom Bang, played a good handful of hits, like Miss Chatelaine, Hopeless and Constant Craving. The five band members were really fantastic; there were some great guitar and keyboard solos, and they all got into the mood Lang set for the show–goofy and playful.
Lang herself shone as a vocalist, and was a hit as a dancer. She pulled out a fake surfing move, and indulged in a little arabesque at one point.
For a taste of some of her conversation with the audience: “The fact that you’re at a K.D. Lang show puts you in the realm of freaky. And we love freaky.” “We don’t care what flag you’re flying, there’s only love here.”
I think what I wrote in my notebook during the show best sums up Lang’s performance: “so relaxed, so confident, so into it, so joyful, so happy to be there, she just belonged.”
- Lana Cuthbertson