October 31, 2007
The Carnival Center
Better Than: A Weimar-era balladeer in a blender.
I don’t know what’s better, that I got a privileged seat for the set of Annie Lennox last night, or that I got to sit next to the Herald’s Howard Cohen, who I thought was one charming man – till I logged on to the paper’s site this morning and saw that he’d used my offhanded quip about Lennox to lead his review.
No matter. Lennox did bring about the ghost of Marcel Marceau during the opening stages of her Ziff Ballet Opera House set – not to mention a bit of Bowie’s interpreting of Egon Schiele. But unlike that silenced Frenchman (and the quiet work of that crafty Austrian), her moves were loud and as proud.
And of course the crowd went wild with every bold moment. Yet as strikingly graceful as was the diva (who really is true pop royalty), it was that voice which grabbed a hold of our hearts and kept it in her hands throughout the whole show.
Talk about a belting. Once more we were promised “No More I Love Yous” and again we were left “Walking on Broken Glass,” but when Annie ditched the band and sat at the piano for a speakeasy-friendly torching of “Here Comes the Rain Again,” it was then that our hearts fully melted into a roar. She’d thanked us for braving a storm in order to hear her, and we complied with a storm of applause not even Noel could generate.
With the house now fully roused, new selections from the recently-released Songs of Mass Destruction (which, incidentally, was mixed by Miami’s-own Tom Lord-Alge) segued to greatest hits such as “Ghosts in My Machine” and – yes! – a very forceful rendition of “Sweet Dreams.” And though “Sing” sang the song of the unsung and unanswerable, it was “Why” which asked us all to question ourselves – and our motives. That last part was a cinch: We’d come to see her conquer, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. – John Hood
Personal Bias: I’m a sucker for platinum cool.
Random Detail: The Ziff makes for one helluva concert hall.
By the Way: You can get with Annie’s mission here.