This was the second last show of the KD Lang Ingénue Redux Tour marking the 25th anniversary of this iconic album. The tour opened to rave reviews in Australia in July before launching the Canadian leg which will wrap up in Hamilton September 19. KD last toured in the summer of 2016 as part of the Case/Lang/Veirs project with Neko Case Laura Veirs following the release of their self-titled album. There has been a six year lapse since she toured with her band Siss Boom Bang in support of Sing It Loud, so the sold-out crowd at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre was more than eager to enjoy an evening with KD.
It is hard to believe that it was 25 years ago that Ingénue was released as the tracks still seem fresh and relevant. We all understood that hear Ingénue track by track in order, so KD needn’t have apprised us of this after completing the first tracks before camping it up a bit with Miss Chatelaine. KD did warn us that the music may be a bit hypnotic and I felt this through the middle tracks. Perhaps because of the music, but I suspect (and to her adoring fans, this is blasphemous) KD may have been dialing-it-in a bit. Regardless, her voice was still sublime and no one could question her artistry.
When she wrapped up Ingénue with her classic coming-out song Constant Craving I sensed a tremendous release. Even twenty-five years down the road, she still can’t just be.
She then gave us Honey and Smoke from Case/Lang/Veirs followed by I Dream of Spring from 2007’s Watershed.
I felt her personality really emerged as she introduced and showed her appreciation as she introduced her band. Truthfully, even without KD, this band would be worth the price of admission. Her musical partner of some thirty years, bassist David Piltch has played with jazz greats like Bill Frisell and Art Pepper, and Holly Cole, the incomparable queen of blues Bonnie Raitt, singer/song writers such as JD Souther, Loudon Wainwright, Bruce Cockburn and Tracy Chapman, and he also adds to his resume sessions with the likes of Randy Newman, John Legend and Sir Elton John.
Daniel Clarke backed up KD on keyboards etc. and as his bio states “a bunch” of other instruments. He too has an excellent musical CV having played with Ryan Adams, Dixie Chicks, and Jason Mraz.
Her lead guitarist from Brazil, Grecco Burrato, like his band mates, is a virtuoso having played with musicians from Sergio Mendez to Earth Wind and Fire, P!nk, Shakira, and Gwen Stefani – not bad!
Rich Hinman indicates his hometown is Sleepy Hollow, NY. I`m guessing the laid back life of Sleepy Hollow allowed him to master Pedal Steel, Guitar, Lap Steel, and Mandolin while performing with the likes of Rosanne Cash and Marc Cohn and his own band, Rich Hinman vs. Adam Levy.
The man behind the drums keeping everyone in line, as KD told us, was Andrew Borger whose claim to fame in addition to backing KD Lang is performing with Tom Waits and Norah Jones.
Backing vocals were provided beautifully by Tahirah Memory and Moorea Masa – both phenomenally talented artists. During a number of pieces that KD performed a felt a shiver with the vocals provided by these two. When you can be noticed vocally backing up KD Lang you’ve got to be doing something extraordinary.
After the band introductions, KD gave us full Canadian content with Joni Mitchell’s Help Me, Neil Young’s Helpless and the anthemic Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. I believe there are a handful of songs that everyone should hear performed live – Hallelujah is one of them. I was not disappointed.
KD gave us a three song encore of Sing If Loud, I Confess and Sleeping Alone – a good and satisfying range.
Ingénue was without doubt the pinnacle of KD Lang’s career. To be able to experience it live from beginning to end was an experience I will hold on to for many years. Thanks KD!