I have never been to The Greek Theater before, so it was great that on the start of Easter weekend, I saw Idina Menzel live there as the opening act for their 2017 concert season. Sure, the weather was still too cold for an outdoor concert, but is there anything better than seeing one of your favorite divas under the light of he moon and stars? I didn’t think so.
And she was in fine form – her voice, which could sometimes be abrasive, was fine and muted, and she was extremely comfortable on that stage – confident, assured, charming. Maybe it’s her frame of mind – she seems to be enjoying her state of engaged bliss (to actor Aaron Lohr) and she knows she has an audience who is in awe. I know that this tour in is support of her new album (titled Idina.) and even though I had mixed feelings about the album in the beginning, I really warmed up to it after repeated listenings. Now, after seeing her sings these songs in concert, I have become obsessed with the album. As a matter of fact, I listened to it on repeat on my way back from Los Angeles.
She started her show by singing her single form the album, ‘Queen Of Swords.’ I had predicted to a friend that she was going to open her concert with that song, and sure enough, there she is playing bongo drums with it. She followed with ‘Small World,’ and then, finally, to the delight of her Rentheads, ‘Seasons Of Love.’ She gave a good mix of the album’s songs, and her signature ones, seamlessly blending her techno-flavored ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ with ‘Defying Gravity.’ Even though I disliked the arrangement of the first song, in this context this was a winner. But what shone most about her tonight was her personality – she had the audience at the palm of her hands with her stories, inserting Streisand anecdotes in the middle of ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’ by singing ‘The Way We Were.’ You got to know a little bit of the real Idina, or at least the scripted Idina that she wants you to know. I walked away from the night loving her more, if that is even possible. As she closed with a wistful ‘Everytime We Say Goodbye,’ I was left wanting for more, just as seasoned performers want you to feel.