Monday, August 20, 2007
Saw Diamanda Galas last night (a review will appear at Bagatellen within a few days). Hadn't seen her live since attending the Plague Mass concert at St. John the Divine which eventually made it to disc. Enjoyed it more than I thought I would; it's obviously not an area I listen to much these days but what she does, she continues to do quite well. She's been doing songs for a while now and last night's show varied between older blues-based pieces, French chanteuse songs and Greek lamentations. Her second encore, "Gloomy Sunday", was especially moving. But more later, in the write-up.
This was at the Highline Ballroom, a relatively new club on West 16th St. that David Bowie has something to do with (at least curating some shows) Though nice enough on its own, it's the kind of venue I rarely venture into. Essentially a dinner theater seating maybe 200-300, but determinedly upscale and...well, I'll delineate Galas' issues with it in the review. But I think she'd have been better served performing in a more modest, scroungier place. You choose to live the rock star's life and you make your accommodations, I guess. But I was imagining her doing her show at the 155th St. corner, even in the little Italian restaurant there. Happening to walk by and hearing Galas emanating from inside there or from the parking lot below, now that would've been cool....
(I looked around for a non-made up pic of her. Tough to find...)