Diana Krall: The Pines, 8/8/2023

Northampton, MA

My wife is a huge Diana Krall fan. She has over a dozen albums, mostly ones I bought for her. She’s one of my wife’s “K girls,” along with Alison Krauss.

The first time I saw her perform was as the opening act for Tony Bennett on September 5, 1998. She sang, then he sang, and then they performed together. It was a great show.

My wife saw her at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. The only show I could find in that time frame was April 28, 2000, which my wife doubts because she was a poor graduate student.

Regardless. I got in my Diana Krall News feed on February 7 that she would be touring 19  shows between July 2 and August 12. On August 8, she’d be at The Pines Theater in Look Park near Northampton, MA.  I bought two tickets on Valentine’s Day in Section 2, Row B, Seats 201 and 202.

The day of the show it looked nice initially. By noon, I got caught in a downpour while going to the Albany Public Library. We left for Massachusetts, where we’d hit dry spots followed by deluges. But the forecast was that it’d stop raining by 6 pm.

This was good because The Pines is an outdoor venue, something I didn’t realize when I bought the tickets but learned subsequently. You know how some people say the weather forecasters are “never” right? This prediction was dead on.

The sky cleared as we parked – $15 for this “special event.” Staff people were drying the seats with towels. This was a great location. I took this with my phone from my seat before they told us we couldn’t.

The show

The show was scheduled to start at 7 pm, but it was about 7:15 when Diana Krall, the drummer, bass player., and guitarist, hit the stage.

The band was excellent, but the piano player was not. She’d sing a little, playing some perfunctory chords, and let them solo. You know a show is unbalanced when two drum solos are in the first half hour.

At some point, she clicked for a time. Her playing and singing of Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen’s songs was solid.  Then, after an hour, the show was over?

They did return for a half-hour encore. She played better. She was clearly touched when someone called out Tony Bennett’s name. But she couldn’t remember the words to the standards she’d sung for years.

At this site, I found this comment about the show we attended:

“I can’t express how excited I was to see her. She came out on stage late. She was either high, drunk, or on heavy meds. She could barely formulate a sentence. She stumbled a few times, trying to remember where she was. She would play and sing a little, then kept introducing the band members and letting them play solo. For the first 20min of the show, it seemed like her bassist was trying to keep her focused. At one point, she started jamming out, and I saw the bassist reach for his strings a few times to try to figure out what song she was playing. I’m going to keep listening to her old stuff. So very disappointed…”

The upside

Joshua wasn’t wrong. But someone could have an off night. What was more problematic was that I could find several reviews like this over the past couple of years, with one- or two-star (out of five) ratings. They ask: is she bored? Sick? On meds? The shows often started late, and the band did much of the heavy lifting.

My wife was more generous. Because of our proximity, she thought we were conversing in her living room. I suppose that’s true. I was looking for more, but it was still a nice date night at a lovely venue in the woods.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial