Lisa Fisher gives transcendent performance—again!

Lisa FisherIf you’ve never heard Lisa Fisher in concert, you are missing a musical experience that will transport you to another realm. Last night, I attended my third Lisa Fisher concert since 2016, my only regret being that I didn’t know about her years earlier. Words are inadequate to describe these experiences. Transcendent, clearly. Chills, yes. She touches some nerve deep inside you, aided by her astounding backup band Grand Baton and music director J.C. Maillard. They perfectly complement her style, supporting the music with revelatory arrangements of familiar tunes that shake your soul. Continue reading →

Todrick Hall unleashes a creative tornado

Forbidden album coverVisionary. Inspiring. A creative tornado. These and more describe multi-faceted artist Todrick Hall. He unleashed his latest album last month, Forbidden, and is currently on tour. Yesterday he breezed through Toronto (his schedule has him appearing virtually every night in a different city). I had the good fortune to catch his show. As with his previous project, Straight Outta Oz, the music expresses his unique artistic vision. The themes touch on life’s challenges: racism, being true to oneself, relationships. Continue reading →

Redhead with a piano: Tori Amos still commands

Tori Amos performing in concertLast night at Massey Hall in Toronto, Tori Amos gave a concert that proved she is one of the best performers around. Few people can command the stage like she can while seated all evening at a piano. Unlike some of her concerts throughout the years, no other musicians accompanied her: we got just pure, unadulterated Tori. She sang a host of well-known and lesser-known songs with intensity and finesse. I have heard Tori a dozen times or more over the decades. Most concerts have been exceptional. A couple have been decent or marred by muddy sound. Once I actually walked out of a concert. But the current Native Invader tour demonstrated she is at the top of her game, better than ever. Continue reading →

Little Dragon launches tour to promote new album

Season High album by Little DragonLittle Dragon performed last night in Toronto. The concert at the Danforth Music Hall came at the front end of their tour to promote the new album Season High. The band gave a solid performance, with a healthy dose of new songs as well as highlights from previous albums. Some bands focus more on new music when touring, but Little Dragon wisely chose a balance of the new and the familiar. The band performed popular songs such as “Twice,” “Pretty Girls,” “Crystalfilm,” “Ritual Union,” and “Klapp Klapp”—plenty to satisfy fans of past albums. The surprise of the evening, and the emotional climax for me, was an extended version of “Strobe Light” from the new album. In its live incarnation, it exceeded the power of the recorded version. Amazing visuals augmented the music. Continue reading →