Renaissance woman brings powerful vocals to Chandler - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Renaissance woman brings powerful vocals to Chandler

February 17th, 2022 development
Renaissance woman brings powerful vocals to Chandler
Arts
3

By Laura Latzko, GetOut Contributor

Storm Large is known for her dynamic vocals and personality. The rock singer, author and playwright, who has appeared on “America’s Got Talent” and “Rock Star: Supernova,” hopes through her music to bring audiences together.

Large will perform with her band Le Bonheur at the Chandler Center for the Arts on Friday, Feb. 18.

During the show in Tucson and Phoenix, Large and her band will perform a mélange of music – rock, “American Songbook,” Broadway and original music.

“We do ‘American Songbook,’ but it’s my interpretation of the ‘American Songbook,’ which includes people who haven’t been inducted yet into the great book,” Large said.

“I do a little Cole Porter. I do familiar standards – jazz and whatnot. I also will do some Brandi Carlile. I’ll do my own music. I put the songs together in order of a narrative that I’m trying to convey, which is we don’t know if it’s going to be OK, but that’s OK. We’re human, and what we are experiencing now is an enormous human experience that it’s not just happening to you. It’s happening to all of us.”

Recently, Large has injected more emotion into original songs like “Stand Up for Me.”

Hailing from Massachusetts, Large now resides in Portland, Oregon. For the last 30 years, Large has been a musician. She loved the artform since she was 5, but didn’t start singing with bands until she was 22.

Along with Le Bonheur, Large performs and tours nationally and internationally with the group Pink Martini. She has been singing with the group since around 2011, when she was a guest vocalist with it during concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.

She made her debut at Carnegie Hall in 2013, performing Weill’s “Seven Deadly Sins” with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra during the “Sounds of Spring” Festival. She has also joined Liza Minnelli, K.D. Lang, Michael Feinstein, George Clinton and Rufus Wainwright on stage.

During her appearance on “America’s Got Talent” in 2021, Large made it to the quarterfinals, singing A-ha’s “Take On Me,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me.”

Large said that her experience on “America’s Got Talent” was different than her time on “Rock Star: Supernova,” which she did in 2006.

“‘America’s Got Talent’ is a machine,” she said.

“You are clay, and they are the hands. ‘Rock Star: Supernova’ was more of a traditional reality show, where they are filming you all of the time and just catching you at your worst, catching you at your best. Even though that was exhausting and really weird, I liked that. I actually preferred it because you got into a groove. With ‘America’s Got Talent, it’s so fast. You just get whipsawed through the process. You can’t find the ground. I don’t regret either one. I enjoyed both,” Large said.

For Large, it has been important to write and perform music that is meaningful to her. Sometimes, it can take her 15 years to get a song right.

“That’s the beauty of not being a pop star,” Large said.

“I’m not a slave to my hits, to my history, to be the expectation of what people have decided that I must be. I can be whatever I want to be. I have to work a lot harder, and I have to tour a lot more. I don’t make as much money as a pop star, but that’s fine.”

In April 2021, Large released an audiobook version of her book “Crazy Enough,” featuring a foreword from Patton Oswalt.

Out in November 2012, “Crazy Enough: A Memoir” tells her story of growing up with a mentally ill parent, her fear of similar issues and her problems with drugs and sex addiction.

The memoir was an Oprah Book of the Week and won the 2013 Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction.

In Portland, she presented a one-woman autobiographical musical called “Crazy Enough,” which ran for 21 weeks in 2009 and was reprised in 2019.

Large shares that it is acceptable to experience fear, instability, uncertainty and stress — especially now. She said artists aren’t immune to these same emotions, but they share them onstage in an open and raw way.

“The person being vulnerable is a very brave person to just be like, ‘Yeah, I am (expletive) up,’” Large said.

“I have my weakness. I have my frailties. I have my victories. I have my defeats.’ But so do you, and that’s fine. So does the person that you admire the most.”

While music is her focus, Large has showcased her acting talents. Large starred in 2007 in a Portland Center Stage production of “Cabaret,” in which she played Sally Bowles. She has also appeared in Jerry Zaks’ musical “Harps and Angels” in 2010 and in the 2011 films “Rid of Me” and “Bucksville.”

After quarantining like everyone else during the pandemic lockdown, Storm started doing shows again starting in October. She said playing live is draining because she is “mentally and emotionally out of shape.”

To de-stress, she exercises, meditates, reads and listens to podcasts. She said in a time where there is so much social and political division, artists like herself bring people together and share a common experience.

“My whole job as a performer is to collect a bunch of strangers in the dark, in red states and blue states, and get everybody to feel better, to relax, to celebrate, to feel, to be connected, to feel reconnected,” she said.

“The artist’s job is to make people feel more connected. That’s why I’m an artist anyway because I want to feel connected. I want to feel less alone.”

 

If you go

What: Storm Large and Le Bonheur

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17

Where: Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress Street, Tucson

Cost: Tickets start at $25

Info: 520.547.3040, foxtucson.com, stormlarge.com

What: Storm Large

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18

Where: Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler

Cost: Tickets start at $38

Info: 480.782.2680, chandlercenter.org

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