Concert Review: Storm Large, December 9, 6th and I

“If you can’t be a good influence, be a good cautionary tale.”

Words of wisdom from Storm Large, lead vocalist of Pink Martini, dazzling human being, and teller of tales extraordinaire.

Emerging from the back of the crowded synagogue at 6th and I, Storm Large sauntered her way to the front of the audience, highlighting her plunging blue ball gown and the “LOVER” tattoo blazing forth from her exposed back, and spent the next two hours guiding us through her Holiday Ordeal.

A yearly tradition for Storm, every year she puts on a bawdy holiday show for her traveling family, as she calls her audience, bringing people together into an intimate environment and sharing her holiday spirit with a lucky few. This night’s ordeal, presented by Washington Performing Arts, definitely brought that spirit.

These Holiday Ordeals involve songs and tales, all in the spirit of the holidays (even if they’re not directly Christmas-related). She started things out with a couple of classics, including “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” as well as Cole Porter’s “It’s All Right With Me” and then a song about Mary and Joseph – Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” (small town girl meets city boy…). In between, Storm told us about some of her favorite Christmas miracles, one of which included an incredible story about how when she was a little girl she befriended a nice man she met who was living out of his white van on the beach. Through happy coincidence she found him again after forty years and learned that he’d followed her career and she’d made a huge impact on his life (an impossibly happy ending, especially considering the fact that it included a white van.) She finished up the first half of the set with an original song about hooking up with a stranger on Christmas eve which included the lyrics, “Come all ye faithful”, “Let’s make a joyful noise together” and “When Santa comes you can go.”

Coming back from a quick intermission, Storm dazzled in an exquisitely sequined, green, floor length gown that made her look like a glittering Christmas tree lit up in all its glory. Working her way through “Sock It To Me Santa,” “Hallelujah” and “Forever Young,” she ramped up the energy in the synagogue until finally she had everyone, from child to octogenarian, on their feet bellowing “Won’t you find me somebody tooooooooooooo loooooooooooooooooove” right along with her. In between she told stories about her childhood, growing up with a mom who had a mental illness, and all the people who filled her unconventional childhood with love and happy memories.

More than a religious experience or a concert or a night out on the town, it felt like this warm and open and wonderful woman inviting us all into her house for a holiday celebration.

Posted on by Celeste in Concerts