k.d. lang’s Ingénue Redux Tour rolled through NYC last night, and it was easily one of the greatest (and gayest) musical performances I have ever attended.
The lesbian presence was certainly strong, which was made immediately apparent to me when I went through security behind Lea DeLaria. (SEMI-FUN FACT: three years and twenty-four hours prior to last night, I was also behind Lea DeLaria in the TSA line at JFK. Apparently security lines are our thing. I tweeted this to her and she has yet to respond. She’s probably just playing hard to get. That’s so like her!) There was the expected respectful frenzy once the queer women in the immediate vicinity realized Big Boo was nigh, and the OITNB vibes continued in the lobby, where I also passed Abigail Savage, who plays Gina Murphy.
But ain’t nobody got time for Litchfield inmates when k.d. lang is about to take the stage, so I headed into the theater to find my seat. (My seat, by the way, was amazing. Shout-out to the people who kindly hooked me up!)
The Grigoryan Brothers were finishing up their opening set when I arrived, and I wish I’d gotten there for the whole thing since they’re guitar geniuses, but alas. While I waited for k.d. to start, I looked around at my seatmates. It was essentially like how I imagine a gay retirement community to be. (I should add that there were certainly senior straights, but chill senior straights, you know? They can stay.) If you’re going, “A gay retirement community? That sounds so boring!” then clearly you do not understand me and my aspirations at all, and I bid you adieu. If I could move into a gay retirement community today, I would do it and be so pumped!
Once taking the stage, k.d. echoed this observation, joking that (since this was the twenty-fifth, or twenty-sixth if we’re technically speaking, anniversary of Ingénue) the majority if the room was full of senior gays. She also joked that a k.d. lang show used to be the OG lesbian Tinder. (Don’t worry, you guys. I’m still single.) She’s super witty, and her banter was on point (I mean, duh), but she took a pause from it to perform Ingénue in its chronological entirety. And holy bananas is she an incredible performer. (Again, I mean, duh.) Talk about making singing look easy…her vocals were crystal clear and effortlessly entrancing for the duration of the show. People lost their shit every time she threw in a few dance moves, and I have to admit, homegirl looked dapper AF. (I’m honestly surprised less people were throwing bras on the stage, but then again, does anyone even wear bras anymore?) I smiled like an idiot the whole time.
Once Ingénue’s track list was complete, she got back into the banter, introduced her stellar band, and made a couple of jokes that helped to discern who was who in the audience. For example, when she picked up her guitar and made a strap-on joke, it only landed with what seemed to be mostly the queer women in the room. She also joked about how collective karma is a bitch re: how America ended up with Trump while Canadians can boast Trudeau, and some people behind me, who’d failed to comprehend the joking tone, got uppity about how they didn’t vote for Trump, and she was speaking to the wrong audience. #OLDTOWNFACEPALM
For the most part, though, everyone appeared ecstatically enthralled (rightfully so) for the whole of the performance, and following some renditions of joni mitchell and case/lang/veirs tracks, as well as a goosebump-inducing cover of “Hallelujah”, the crowd gave a big old standing ovation and demanded an encore performance, which it got in the form of a saucy little number about how “coffee in the morning is better with a little cream” that elicited plenty of hootin’ ‘n hollerin’ from the ladies.
All in all a very ideal way to spend a Monday night. I repeat – if this is even remotely a reflection of queer senior life, then sign me up!