Storm Large & Le Bonheur Record Release Bash at Alberta Rose Theater
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
The true measure of an artist is the gift to transform talent into something an audience can taste, feel, become part of.
New York has Madonna.
Los Angeles has Cher.
Portland has Storm Large.
She is our diva. Our broad. Our goddess. Our dork (more on that later).
Not everyone will agree. And that’s okay. Like all the best divas, Storm takes her own share of licks for being not only fierce but downright ferocious.
She may not be as well known as Cher and Madge, but if you were to measure success by Storm’s equally fierce and ferocious following then she might be just one of the brightest stars in the heavens.
At least above the skies of Portland.
This was all evident in an epic, three-hour long “Storm Large & Le Bonheur CD Release Bash” held on Monday night at Alberta Rose Theatre.
The sold-out party…er…concert was a chance for her fans to worship at her shoeless feet and get a sneak preview of the album (coming out on Oct. 7 on Heinz Records) she did with her “Le Bonheur” band as well as special guests including Pink Martini’s trombone player Robert Taylor, Three Leg Torso’s founding members, violinist Béla R. Balogh and accordionist Courtney Von Drehle and a string and horn section.
Large kept referring to the night being a chance to show her “classical” side that she so often shares nowadays onstage as a member of Pink Martini.
But truth is, Storm showed off all sides of herself—something that is clearly evident on her new, eclectic album. From the catchy “The Lady Is a Tramp” (where in concert she often name-checks Gus Van Sant and Mary’s Club) to the sublime Randy Newman tune, “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today.” On the album, and at the concert, she whipped through everything from Bad Brains “Sacred Love” to Jacques Brel “Ne me quitte pas.”
A somber moment was observed when she dedicated her cover version of The Pixies “Where Is My Mind” to Derek Reith, the Pink Martini drummer who tragically took his own life in August.
The night ended with her crowd-pleasing tribute to her own vagina, “8 Miles Wide,” the audience sing-a-long “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and her anthem for gay rights, “Stand Up for Me.”
Sure, some of it’s super schmaltzy. Storm is the first to admit that. In fact she calls herself a big “dork.”
But she’s Portland’s dork and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Related Slideshow: Storm Large Le Bonheur CD Release Bash at Alberta Rose
New York has Madonna. Los Angeles has Cher. Portland has Storm Large. She is our diva. Our broad. Our goddess. Our dork.