Our Lady of Puerto Vallarta, Kim, has presented a tribute to Annie Lennox, complete with wigs and angel wings, Wednesday Night Fever, The 70’s Show, Acustico I and II. Her richly talented sizzling ensemble is composed of the remarkable guitar stylings and vocals of Eduardo León, Fernando Huerta González on backup vocals and rhythm guitar and Luis Rascón on percussion and cello. These men are terrific musicians and together with a vocalist like Kim are sheer ethereal magic. The blending of their Latin background with Kim’s wide range of musical genres enhances and expands the entire evening. “It’s gonna be a hard last show. Tears are already streaming. I’m gonna miss these guys.” But, as a true professional, she composed and gathered herself and gave the audience a night of rhythmic music to remember. The group kicked off with Lady Gaga’s “Perfect Illusion” with wild abandonment. “It wasn’t love. Mistaken for love.”
A sign of a great vocalist is the ability to take a song, bend it, shape it and mold it. Kim uses her creation, adding distinct stylings resulting in a sound that is not a copy or cover but belongs to her. There is nothing shallow here for the music builds up inside Kim and she formulates it into a beautiful image.
The treatment of the French classic “I Will Wait For You” was striking in that Eduardo started with his guitar strumming in perfection and singing in Spanish, then an interlude and Kim entered with the English lyrics, then back and forth. It was a stunning Latin arrangement, a creation for all to witness. Over five years ago while at the Saturday market, she heard Eduardo, then a shy, quiet man, and was taken aback by his guitar work and gentle soul. He joined her band and has developed into a major facet of this group. One of their favorites has emerged with “Me and Mrs. Jones”. The choice seems unlikely, but captured by them it is a soaring ode to love at the wrong time. She enveloped Shirley Bassey’s “I Who Have Nothing” as her own song with a Latin twist, mashing into “Love Story [Where Do I Begin]” delivered sweetly but with firmness. A full-fledged Latin production followed with Ricky Martin’s “Un, Dos, Tres, María” which brought the excitement level to a pinnacle and the crowd loved it. From her The 70’s Show, she blasted with ABBA’s “Voulez Vous” which led to the band strutting offstage for a break.
For about 35 years, Kim has sung to anyone who would listen. She grew up with the music of her mother and grandmother. Evolution is designed an evening of her memories and personal growth into a formidable artist, told in songs and words, even pictures later in the night. One of her main influences was Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac. “Rhiannon” is a wonderfully well-suited song for Kim. She floated through “Landslide” leaving the crowd in awe. This song has rarely been heard in better form. Then she sang of a person’s dedication to “Sara”, expressing a deepness of love and music. She delved into a thoughtful reflective tune which influenced Kim as she matured: George Michael’s “A Different Corner” – “‘Cause I’ve never come close in all of these years. You are the only one to stop my tears.” She drew this stunning song from her inner being causing everyone in the audience to listen to the striking lyrics. This is a lesser-known song which deserves more recognition.
The evening took a new direction when the backscreen projected a slide show which had just been completed the night before with the superb assistance of Alex Bourgeau. Kim showed pictures, mostly in black and white, of a little girl growing into an established singer. Interspersed are pictures of her band members as their careers progressed from childhood. Current photos were shown eliciting applause from the onlookers. as the video played, Kim was situated in the rear and sang a dear “When We Were Young” from Adele. The guitars and drums resounded along with her. The unusual experience was that as the pictures snapped by in front of everyone, around them were Kim and Piel Canela serenading beautifully appropriate lyrics. What a summation of everyone’s slow struggle to where they now stand proudly. Sting’s “Fragile” was sung by Kim in her own special style. She has had a great life in her second home here in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Kim will be back after a northern tour of several cities and she will work on assembling an artistic lineup for the fall/winter season at The Palm.
Photos courtesy Alex Bourgeau. This article contributed by PV resident Gary Beck. For more of Beck’s Best: Theater, Cabaret and More! visit http://www.facebook.com/groups/PuertoVallartaShows