The kd lang concert was good, as expected. Actually, she sounded better here in the Esplanade than in her ‘Live by Request’ album!
K and I had a most hurried dinner, and got to our seats in the nick of time. The band and orchestra behind them were already seated.
When kd lang made her appearance, there was enthusiastic applause. She was wearing a long black skirt! A S-K-I-R-T. And a black jacket. Hmm, I thought, she’s gained a little weight since the Invincible Summer series. But she looked cheerful and confident. And she was barefoot throughout the concert.
She started with ‘Don’t Smoke In Bed’, followed by ‘Simple’, which I understand (from K) she performed on TV a couple weeks ago. Then she sang ‘Still Thrives This Love’. These songs were taken from the albums ‘Drag’, ‘Invincible Summer’ and the acclaimed ‘Ingenue’ in that order.
kd seemed a little overwhelmed (or charmed?) by our rapturous appreciation of her performance. She paused to say, “I have one regret…” Some people chuckled. She continued, “I regret I took so long to come here!” We whooped! She praised the Esplanade and our very own Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, who were accompanying her band on strings.
She did a really cute take on Miss Chatelaine. Suddenly this self-titled ingenue acted all coy, striking feminine poses, even sliding her hand up her body in a mock attempt at seducing the audience. She pranced and gallavanted around the stage, shaking her ‘bon bon’ so to speak. During the first chorus, the drummer took on a more latin beat and she started dancing in that fashion.
Constant Craving, the song that most of you would be familiar with, was not played the way you hear in the album. Indeed, with such a rich ensemble of musicians, a more jazzy chord structure was used, as with several other songs in this concert. (In fact I think I should try to figure out the chords before I totally forget what they sound like). Needless to say, the result was beautiful.
Later into the performance she sang songs from Hymns of the 49th Parallel, her latest album. There were covers by other big names such as Roy Orbison’s ‘Crying’, and songs by young (and relatively less well known) Canadian songwriters.
She would banter with the audience in between songs. One guy (Canadian?) shouted, “WE LOVE YOU!!” and kd, who was saying something else in mid-sentence, responded at once, “Yeah I got you figured out!”
It seemed there were many Canadians in the audience, quite a few of whom were seniors. Her countrymen were the most enthusiastic, but we Singaporeans caught on to the spirit of things pretty fast, too.
Towards the end of the concert, a woman seated on the right side of the stage shouted something else at kd. Almost at once, kd told us that this woman had to be Australian. The woman said, yes she was! kd said, You gotta love these Aussies!
The performance closed with a standing ovation comprising 99% of the audience in my view. A small table and chair was brought out. kd lang re-entered the stage, and proceeded to sit down, as though she was in a cafe. She then tried to close up the long slit in her skirt, with little success at first.
By way of apology at her ‘fumbling’, she said this was her first time in a skirt, and that sometimes one should try drag. We chuckled.
She then commanded all of us to hold hands with the people sitting around us! She said we would all remember this moment in the years to come.
Mimicking an old lady’s voice, she quivered, “We went to a kd lang concert and I held hands with this nice young gentleman…” We laughed.
Then she added, still using an old lady’s voice, “… At least, I think it was a gentleman!”
Oh, what a wickedly sharp sense of humour she had. Self-deprecating, unabashedly open with her sexuality (and that of her fans), with a powerful voice that never failed to leave you yearning for more. She had remarkable microphone control – whenever she crescendoed she would draw the mic further away from her, almost like playing a trumpet. I tucked this little observation into my head (for the time I finally do voice recordings in my studio).
We gave another standing ovation, she and her band re-emerged and she sang her last song for the night. A female Esplanade employee gave her flowers. kd looked like she was expecting a peck on the cheek or something. (She didn’t get it)
I would have liked to hear more songs from her Invincible Summer album, such as ‘The Consequences of Falling’, but it seemed her main objective was to promote budding Canadian talents and her new album. Fair enough! She thanked us for supporting MOSAIC, and left the stage for the final time. That was the third standing ovation we gave her.
To those of you who missed her concert, the closest experience in terms of acoustics, vocal and chord variations, would be the ‘Live by Request’ album.


  1. Leung

    Thank you for your review. We have a friendly, active and mixed buntch of people and would love to invite you to join our k.d. lang group. Pls give us a look and thanks much your review. Happy New Year.

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