David Lynch’s latest muse, Chrysta Bell, proved that she is more than just a pretty voice at her mesmerizing New York City performance on Feb. 22. It was as if Sally from ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ had come to life. Bell’s vocals were dynamic and sensual.
In a pre-recorded visual opening, David Lynch proclaimed, “Her voice is like a songbird.” From that moment on, any Lynch fans knew they were in for a landmark night. Bell was a true siren and performer. The set list was dominated by songs off of her debut Lynch collaboration ‘This Train,’ which was released in 2011 after almost a decade’s worth of work.
The title track ‘This Train’ was gorgeous and ethereal. ‘Friday Night Fly’ was pounding and sexual.
Bell described herself as a “girl from Texas with big dreams” and introduced her band: Christopher Smart (bass), Rodrigo Castro (keys), Pat Mastelotto (percussion), and Sean Eden (guitar). She then told the audience that they would be playing the first song that she and Lynch wrote together: ‘Right Down to You.’
Her powerhouse voice evoked a bit of Jane Siberry on ‘Right Down to You’ as she accompanied the band on guitar. This song has a bit of country twang, and shows Bell’s Texan roots. It also wouldn’t be out of place on a Chris Isaak set list. Wouldn’t that be an amazing tour? Isaak and Bell!
The band then followed with a rich cover of the Gene Vincent classic ‘Be-Bop-a-Lula.’ Bell’s delivery was staccato, sexy, and almost a bit Christopher Walken-sounding (in a good way) at times.
The audience was so enraptured by Bell that the club was completely silent while Bell and her band performed. Midway through her set, Bell told the crowd, “This song is from one of my favorite movies.” After a seductive intro, the band launched into ‘Up in Flames’ and an eruption of applause burst from fans. This song, previously recorded by another Lynch muse, Julee Cruise, was a stunner live.
Along with ‘Up in Flames’ and another “Twin Peaks” number, ‘Under the Sycamore Trees,’ possibly the best song of the night (and my favorite song of her album) was ‘Down by Babylon.’ Attendees were very lucky to hear ‘All the Things,’ the brand-new song from Bell and Lynch. “We were kissed by the muses,” the songstress said, of the day they created ‘All the Things.’
Bell has pipes, a knock-out body, and is a force to be reckoned with. One can only hope that her second album reaches our ears sooner, rather than later, and that a nationwide tour is in the works.