Gossip singer Beth Ditto is one of those artists who has a following that evokes not just applause and adoration, but suspended roars and unyielding respect. The show at Bowery Ballroom on Thursday night brought to bear the best Beth has to offer: a showcase of outstanding songs from her new solo album, Fake Sugar, the punk spirit and humor that endears her to her fans, and that voice. It’s simply one of the finest in pop music today.
I’ve really been into her album, sort of a throwback to the ’70s and ’80s. Even her album cover features The Carpenters typeface and the title track (best track) channels Paul Simon’s Graceland album. Highlights of the evening were ‘We Could Run,’ highlighting Beth’s vocal power and prompting the loudest response from the crowd, and the old Gossip classic ‘Coal to Diamonds’ as she snaked her way through the sold out venue, serenading her devout followers. Other highlights were set opener, ‘In and Out’ and ‘Oo La La’ off the new album, ‘I Wrote the Book,’ off her 2011 EP, and a healthy dose of Gossip songs including ‘Love Long Distance, during which my gal pal Falon got a Beth shout out from the stage. Behind the scenes, on the stage and in the orbit of wonderful people in Beth’s world, it was night I won’t forget and one that sets the bar high for a Beth Ditto show. Oo la la.