Bat For Lashes at The VenuePhotos by Alex Ramon
Sitting at the balcony at Venue, where Natasha Kahn of Bat for Lashes made her appearance this past Tuesday August 25 to a sold-out show, I enjoyed a nice view of the stage and fans crowding at its lip. The stage was set up carefully with trinkets, from fibre optic lights to small Virgin Mary statues, so that it created a fantastical setting that could have easily been a roadside psychic parlour or an obscure wedding chapel in Las Vegas.
From my aerial post, I could detect two types of fans: those who’ve loved Bat for Lashes from the very start and those who only have heard of her recently. The former know all of Kahn’s musical history and all her songs by heart, but refused to dance too much to the popular “Daniel” which the latter type of fan whistled and whooped for as they recognized its intro. However, both love her equally, it seems, and a few times when there was some quiet between songs different people professed this very love for Kahn. “Natasha!” cried one fan. “Hi,” she responded coyly. “We love you!” was the response. Kahn smiled, “Well, thanks for coming out!” To another she responded modestly, “Aw! You do?” as if such a deed was not nearly possible.
Her voice certainly reached grander levels than her shy “thank you’s” and “hi’s” as she belted out her lyrics with her melodious voice, commendably sounding the same, if not better, than in her recorded songs. Her band, three multi-talented individuals, accompanied her with equal fervour–now singing, now playing the piano, now plucking the strings of an Marxophone and banging away at a massive drum. During “Wizard”, the crowd seemed entranced by Kahn’s voice as her hands swept back and forth across the span of the stage like a shaman calling up spirits. She clasped a string of bells in her left hand and twinkled out their sound as she sang, all the more adding to the entrancing vibe.
Every song set a tone and after her encore, Kahn slowed things down a notch with “Prescilla” and “Good Love”. She sped it up a tad with “Moon and Moon” and “Two Planets” in anticipation for “Daniel”, which she wisely saved for last. Kahn’s set list took from both her debut album “Fur and Gold” and her second “Two Suns”, making for an excellent mix of past and present, which surely pleased both her two types of fans and everyone in between.