Crazy Coqs, Live At Zedel, London
The wounds are still fresh for Bat Out of Hell fans, who had to wave goodbye to their beloved show at the Dominion Theatre just a few days ago; but the Bat love was still strong as Christina Bennington took to the stage in a one-night-only couple of concerts. As usual, the Zedel provided a cosy and relaxed backdrop for a night of pure vocal entertainment and we felt welcomed into the songbook of Bennington’s life and career.
After performing Jim Steinman’s huge musical numbers for the last couple of years, it was enthralling and refreshing to hear her show off the other shades of her voice, with her lilting soprano contrasted wonderfully against her powerful belt and buoyant performance. Some standout numbers included ‘Green Finch and Linnet Bird’, ‘I’m With You’ and ‘Salley Gardens’ which each showed a different aspect to the vast range Bennington beholds. Act One closer, ‘Raven’, was another highlight as Bennington’s voice soared over the audience and enchanted us all through the power of a beautiful song.
Alongside sweet anecdotes we also heard two guest performers, Danielle Steers and Daniel Buckley. ‘Good Girls Go To Heaven’, performed by Steers and Bennington, was met with elation from the audience who were wrapped around the performers’ fingers. ‘Happy Days Are Here Again’/‘Get Happy’ illustrated the friendship between the duo and how their voices complement each other so well. Buckley played the Disney Princes in the pair’s mini Disney mash-up and reminded us of just how much talent is on offer in the West End with his beautiful rendition of ‘You Matter To Me’ from Waitress; it’s lovely to see two friends really seeming to have fun on stage.
It’s interesting to see Bennington outside of the rock musical format, not only as a showcase of her versatile vocals but also her depth as a performer. Her comedic choices, especially during ‘Stupid With Love’ from Mean Girls were highly entertaining. Equally, her performance of ‘Princess’ was highly moving. The way she physically embodies a song is truly wonderful to see and it’s clear why they say “the eyes are the key to the soul” as she conveys a single emotion or thought with a mere twitch of her eyes.
Closing the show with Heaven Can Wait and All Coming Back to Me Now was a wonderful way of rounding off, what must have been a whirlwind few years for Christina and felt like a fitting way to put Raven away for now, and open door for new ventures.
If you want to witness a master of acting through song and a beautiful songbird, don’t miss Christina Bennington’s future performances as she is sure to shine and astound.
photo credit: Joseph Sinclair