k.d. lang is scheduled to perform Tuesday, November 11.
The Mesa Arts Center
On last winter's intriguing Watershed, k.d. lang's first disc of original material in eight years, the Canadian-born singer/songwriter seemed to have picked up a few things from the legendary Tony Bennett, with whom she has repeatedly collaborated over the years since his MTV Unplugged special in 1993. The instrumentation on the CD is sparse, with discreet strings and simple arrangements that capture her subtle, almost bossa nova-ish inflection on songs like "Upstream" and "I Dream of Spring," which have made repeated appearances in her live show. The show chronicles her rise from country music star to the mainstream via "Constant Craving," her unstoppable hit from 1992's Ingenue, and lang has clearly evolved as a performer and a songwriter. The choices she has made during her tour reflect it. According to various reviewers around the country, she makes few concessions to her early career, meaning that her cover of Roy Orbison's "Crying," a single that put her on the pop map, is often not included, despite fans' requests. She does include "Craving" and a few songs from 2002's Grammy-winning A Wonderful World (recorded as a duet with Bennett). After all, as she jokes during shows, she is a one-hit wonder with a two-decade career.