What better way to kick off my 2013 quest for great performances than with impetuous ’80s pop goddess Taylor Dayne? She’s one of those artists who I just have to see every time she passes through town and there’s a singular reason why: that voice. Wow. Today Taylor looks like the love child of Donatella Versace and Janice the Muppet. After being on the scene for more than 25 years, there are hints she may be trying to hold back the years (just like the rest of us), but her voice still rings through the rafters. It was also great to hear her soar in a brand spanking new venue just two blocks from my apartment, Stage 48. It’s like a mini Terminal 5 with seating. In fact, this was just the fourth event they’ve held there since it opened last month.
She opened “With Every Beat of My Heart” and “Beautiful” and moved swiftly into some of her more obscure hits of the ’80s that I have to admit were fun hearing her perform. They’ve held up well and they sound even better live — remember “Don’t Rush Me,” “I’ll Be Your Shelter” and “I’ll Wait?” All outstanding. She also slayed her best ballads including “I’ll Always Love You” and “Send Me a Lover,” which reminded me of driving around North Kansas City, Mo., back in high school, in my Chevy Cavalier, singing at the top of my lungs, oblivious to what I was really praying for.
Other stand-outs were quintessential up-beat Dayne disco anthems “Prove Your Love,” “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love,” “Tell It To My Heart” and her only Number 1 hit, “Love Will Lead You Back.” My favorite moment of the night was a new song she penned recently while doing a gig in Nashville called “Born to Sing.” If there’s anything in this world that this girl was supposed to do, it’s sing.