About halfway through the show, the burly security guard leaned in and shouted in my ear. “Boy, can that girl sing!” she said. I nodded. Because up there, Katie Stelmanis’ pipes had burst and were flooding the Commodore Ballroom stage. At the head of a now four-piece (the last tour involved twin back-up singers) the woman whose middle is Austra, was once again causing jaws to drop because of the sound that came out of her own. As she moved around the stage in black platforms, striped stockings, a satiny white doll’s dress and through flashing strobes and dark lights that are unfriendly to photographer lenses, Austra’s hands were either on the piano, or directing her own orchestra. The dynamic between “What We Done?” “Painful Like” “The Choke” and “Reconcile” shifed and grew into a wild chorus, as her hands mimed the music – push me, pull you. By the time “Lose It” got the floor heaving and “The Beat and Pulse” moved us all deep into gothic crescendoville, it was clear that the diva on stage had performed yet another magical opera. Brava. \m/
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