Chrysta Bell has to be among the most watchable singers on the planet. While some debated whether her Thursday night performance was too contrived or a little pretentious, others were mindful of the fact that the night's show was equal parts concert and theatre. And with her clear desire to get into character for each song, one imagines Bell wouldn't have it any other way.
Nor would her collaborator David Lynch, for that matter. Lynch, who discovered Bell a decade ago and wrote and produced her 2011 debut album This Train, clearly had a hand in this show.
After all, it's his electronic backing tracks that make up a great deal of the atmospheric soundtrack accompanying Bell's incredible voice. But more than that, it's in the details - the dark and often creepy visuals flashing behind Bell and her band, or the choreographed moves the leggy chanteuse would entertain with before freezing, like a burlesque dancer striking a pose.
Yes, Bell is very watchable. A siren with Rita Haywood-like style and composure, her long flame-coloured hair and tall, hourglass figure are occasionally reminiscent of an even more sophisticated, diva version of Christina Hendricks' Madmen character "Red".
Which leaves the songs. With a single album to her name, which one suspects half the audience, probably more attracted by the Lynch tag than the singer herself, hadn't yet heard, Bell played it smart by throwing in a few covers.
Be-Bop-A-Lula was dedicated to Lynch's newborn daughter Lula. Baby Please Don't Go was a touch heavy- handed in arrangement but suited the show's classic feel. And the closing encore, a surprising take on Beck's Black Tambourine, was welcome if unexpected.
Impressively though, it was Lynch's originals that really shone. The sexy introduction to Swing With Me, in which Bell detailed drinking straight whiskey in a hot and sweaty small bar in Austin, Texas, was damn sexy even before Bell talked about "mingling juices". And Down By Babylon's haunting family tree revelations was pure Lynch: haunting, mysterious and somewhat alien.Just like his muse, Chrysta Bell.
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