Thursday, June 23, 2011


Last week saw the return of Luminato to Toronto. It is billed as an arts festival and features works of theatre, photography and music, some free and some not so free.

It's not a festival I really heavily attend but they were featuring a series of outdoor concerts downtown. Much of the acts held little interest to me but they closed off the week with K.D. Lang .. for free, on a warm summer evening? Yes sir, count me in.

K.D. is one of your artists that if you asked me who my fave singers are, she would not make the list. Yet I like most of the music I've ever heard from her and have kind of been tracking her career from her early "cowpunk" days to Canadian diva.

She is a singer who moves through styles and not all of those styles but there is one concrete truth: The woman can sing. Her voice is deep and skilled and emotive and that's what I desire from a singer.

Collette and I have never seen her, I know K.D. is reputed as an entertaining performer so we jumped at the opportunity.

She brought with her an opening act, The Belle Brigade out of L.A. A brother and sister act, they have a style that flirts with bluegrass without surrendering to the twang and high, clear voices that created really lovely harmonies. We thought they both looked like boys and sang like girls

Ms Lang did not disapoint. Her new band, The Siss Boom Bang is very skilled and capable of moving from one musical genre to the other. They allowed KD to do her goofy cowpunk dance moves, something that is wonderful and giddy to behold.

She displayed her remarkable range throughout her set, from jazz standards, to pop, to old school Canadian (Helpless) to a heart stopping heart breaking rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah and of course, her signature song, Constant Craving.

She told the story of how at one show a woman requested K.D. sing that song "Instant Gravy" to which Ms Lang mused "and it's turned out to be just that"

Here's some video hightlights.

Blogger still seems to be messing with the video aspect ratio so you could follow this link to the video's original source

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