Friday, January 11, 2019

STORM LARGE and The Seattle Symphony! 1/5/19

Love, Lust, and Rock ‘n’ Roll

Seattle Symphony 
Conducted by: Michael Krajewski
Featuring Storm Large

Benaroya Hall
Seattle, WA


For the first show of the year for Eclectic Arts, I found myself back at one of my favorite venues in the city - Benaroya Hall. Storm Large: Love, Lust, and Rock 'n' Roll was in town for three performances.

As conducted by Michael Krajewski, the performance on Saturday night was the perfect kick off to a new year.

Storm Large is a powerhouse vocalist. With a background in rock, punk, and metal, she is an eclectic singer. She has performed with many different symphonies around the world as well as with famed band Pink Martini. Storm is anything but one-dimensional.

The set list ranged from standards like Cole Porter to hits from Elton John, Queen, Olivia Newton John and originals from Storm and her band.

On paper some may think this combination of Storm Large and the Seattle Symphony wouldn't work but they would be wrong. Storm was engaging and very much herself. She pulls no punches and speaks her mind with only a minor filtering throughout the performance. I think I only caught one cuss word.

Her vocal performance was tremendous. She could make any song her own - which she did to comedic effect during, "Hopelessly Devoted To You". There is no denying her talent.

During, "Somebody To Love" Storm asked the audience to turn on their phones to light up Benaroya Hall - something I had never seen done there before. The hall looked wonderful as many in the audience sang along with the Queen staple.

The show, with intermission, ran about two hours' give or take. My only quibble was the overall sound of the vocal mic and the drum kit. I've heard other "pop" singers at Benaroya Hall so I was expecting the same stellar quality. The vocals sounded a bit distant and muddled. This had nothing to do with Storm's performance but the technical aspect. The drum kit was also much too rock oriented and could have been dialed down a bit in the mix, particularly the snare. Again, not the performers issue but a technical one from the soundboard. I wasn't the only one who noticed this as I heard others talk about it during intermission.

Storm talked between every song and her brash humor went over well with most of the audience. There were definitely Pink Martini fans in the audience who were quite vocal in support of Storm. Her message of love during these times was not lost on anyone in the audience. She has overcome many, many obstacles in her own life and was quite open in sharing her trials and tribulations. A recent performance by Jessie J. I covered was similar in terms of the sharing of hardships and the gratefulness for being where each artist is now. I would love to see Storm Large return with perhaps another singer to share the stage with - Jessie J. actually comes to mind. Both are powerhouse vocalists that can sing many different genres.

Overall, the event was fantastic! I'm looking forward to future events to cover at Benaroya Hall in 2019!

Until Next Time,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

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