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Live Review: Storm Large reigns at The Neptune

Photo courtesy of: Stormlarge.com

Storm Large at The Neptune Theatre 4/27/2012

It’s difficult to write a standard review for an artist like Portland, Oregon’s Storm Large. Calling her a “force of nature” is quite cliché, and yet I’m guilty as charged, because she just is.

Storm is an artist that needs to be experienced to be fully appreciated. How do you describe a tornado or earthquake to someone who’s never been through one? Or the serenity of a still lake or the majesty of a sunset?  Words just can’t do it. These things have to be experienced. Just like a performance by Storm Large.

What can be said is that she has a presence and vocal prowess that is simply stunning in a live setting. From the moment the statuesque chanteuse stepped foot onto the Neptune stage, she owned the room.

Ms.Large, dressed in a simple yet elegant green dress, and backed by a very tight and musically proficient band, put on an incredible performance. It was part one-woman show, part stand-up comedy routine, and a wonderful musical concert.

Large sounds great on record, but on stage, in front of an adoring audience that gets her, is when her songs really come to life. She took her Seattle fans on a musical journey through parts of her life via her impressive and diverse musical catalogue.

Her voice, body, and soul worked in perfect synchronicity on every number. She has a huge palate of vocal colors and styles that allow her to belt, rock, or croon, depending on what the song wants. Her pitch and delivery were impeccable.

Storm’s performance showcased her emotional strength, vulnerability, professional stage presence, plus a fun sense of humor. Her banter was almost as entertaining as the songs themselves, which is saying a lot.

Some of the musical highlights of the evening were a moving and beautiful performance of Jimi Hendrix‘s “Axis.” She and the band made the classic number their own.

Large was also able to take the cheesy “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” originally sung by Olivia Newton John in the movie Grease, and turn it in to a humorous, yet dark and twisted tale of lovers’ revenge. Think bondage gear and cigarettes. Again, you need to experience it in person!

Other highlights included the rousing “8 Miles Wide” as a joyful and fun audience sing-along. “Stay With Me” was a beautiful ode to blissful relationships.

Storm concluded the evening with her own stirring version of Bonnie Tyler 80’s bombast, “Total Eclipse of The Heart.” 

After the show, Storm came out to the lobby to sign autographs and copies of her new book, “Crazy Enough: A Memoir.” 

Storm Large is an artist who has truly found her own voice. She knows where she’s been, where she’s at, and where she’s going. Moreover, she knows who she is, and shes’s not afraid to reveal ALL of what she’s about.

Set List

  1. Call Me Crazy
  2. Inside Outside
  3. Ladylike
  4. Axis
  5. Rain
  6. Under My Skin
  7. Dear Ones
  8. Beautiful
  9. Formaldehyde

Intermission

  1. Boom Boom
  2. I Want You
  3. I Want You To Die
  4. Hopelessly Devoted To You
  5. Buy The Moon
  6. Put It In
  7. Stay With Me
  8. 8 Miles Wide

Encore

  1. Stand Up
  2. Total Eclipse of the Heart

Check out the SMI Radio interview with Storm Large below.

THIS WEEK ON SMI RADIO: MUSICIAN AND AUTHOR STORM LARGE

Not only is he a multi-media journalist, he is also an accomplished musician. He is the founder of SMI and drives the creative look, feel and branding for the publication. His years of writing, arranging, and performing live music in a variety of genres inform his ability to communicate the message and the mechanics of music. Roth’s work on SMI reflects his philosophy that music is the universal language, and builds community. He believes it has the power to unite people of every race, religion, gender, and persuasion.