On Friday, legendary singer-songwriter k.d. lang graced the stage of the Keswick Theatre with a glorious performance to mark the 25th anniversary of her watershed album, Ingénue. One of the most spectacular singers in music, she put on a show that will not soon be forgotten.
1. We got to hear Ingénue in its entirety.
lang began the night playing her second solo album from beginning to end, which she said was the first time she’d ever done that. Her rich voice gave life to the multifaceted work, and her jazzy backing band supported the work’s cabaret style, adding the perfect razzle dazzle to songs like “Miss Chatelaine.”
2. “Constant Craving” sounded as soulful as ever.
It was a treat to hear this song live, in a room full of adoring fans. lang also played recent work “Honey and Smoke,” from the masterful 2016 collaborative album with Neko Case and Laura Veirs entitled case/lang/veirs. The hooks and textures of that song give lang room to shine and remind the music world of the vitality of this national treasure.
3. Three covers gave us life.
After she played through Ingénue, lang played three phenomenal covers: She shimmered on Joni Mitchell’s “Help Me,” and her interpretation of “Neil Young’s “Helpless” revealed whole new layers to the song. Then there was Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” which was as layered a cover of that song as has ever existed.
4. The night began with a set of classical guitar from the Grigoryan Brothers.
Australian siblings Slava and Leonard Grigoryan played Bach selections and some of their own works. It was an unlikely opening choice for lang, but their soothing sounds ended up being just what we needed to hear to prepare us for the delights to come.