Storm Large’s name fits her so well people often assume it’s a stage name she adopted.
Born Susan Storm Large, the 6-foot Portland singer is, as she says herself, “big and loud.” She’s brash and bold and profane and proud, and she’s absolutely delighted about all of it.
If you saw Large sing with Pink Martini during the band’s January visit to Olympia, you know the power of her singing voice. But you might not know what you’re in for Thursday night, when she’ll perform with her own band, Le Bonheur.
“I have such a big (expletive) mouth,” she said — and the obscenity is a key part of the sentence. It’s not just that she says whatever she’s thinking; it’s also how she says it.
The concert is, as The Washington Center for the Performing Arts’ press release points out, “just in time for Pride.” Large is excited to celebrate the idea of equal-opportunity love (and she does use that word in addition to more colorful ones), but don’t try to pin her down on her sexuality.
“I call myself opportunistically omnivorous, which kind of upsets some gay people,” she said. “They’re like, ‘That makes you bisexual,’ ” she said. “I’m like: ‘Nope. I had sex with myself this morning.’ That makes me isexual.”
If you find that funny, you’re bound to like Large’s show, which consists of a wide and unpredictable array of music, and an even wider and more unpredictable array of commentary.
She sings originals, including ones she wrote for her autobiographical one-woman show “Crazy Enough,” which the Oregonian’s Michael McGregor described as “part cabaret, part confessional and part comedy.” She sings Cole Porter and Kurt Weill, Black Sabbath and Sting. She sings with the Oregon Symphony and had her 15 minutes of fame in 2006 on CBS’ “Rock Star: Supernova.”
Before that, she was a favorite in Tacoma. In the early 2000s, she and her former band The Balls performed frequently at Jazzbones.
“Tacoma has changed so much, it’s almost unrecognizable,” Large said. “We wouldn’t feel totally safe in Tacoma. Now it’s become incredibly charming.”
And Tacoma likes her, too. “Large has a voice that is too big for any box,” the Tacoma News Tribune’s Rosemary Ponnekanti wrote in a 2014 article.
The singer doesn’t need anyone else to tell her she’s a (insert expletive if you want to live Large) good singer.
“I know I’m a great singer,” she said. “I’m getting better all the time.”
But when she has her way, she’s likely to talk at least as much she sings. (With Pink Martini, she reins herself in at times.)
“My band does sometimes say, ‘Dude, that was like a 17-minute intro to that song,’ ” she said.
In a phone interview, Large spent at least that long weighing in on everything from the health risks of airline travel to the state of politics to commercials for Cialis.
“Why is the last image of this erectile dysfunction pill ad a man in a bathtub next to another bathtub where this woman is,” she said. “It’s like why are they in separate bathtubs? Maybe they both need to soak in Epsom salts with ice.”
She got serious talking about Pride and the LGBTQ community’s creative way of standing up for their rights.
“The way the community constantly responds is creatively and joyously,” she said. “We have huge parades and parties.
“Instead of a ‘Hell, no, we won’t go,’ it’s kind of like a ‘Oh, no, girl, we’re here,’ and it’s still as strong a sentiment.”
What: Large, who last visited Olympia earlier this year with Pink Martini, is known for her beautiful singing voice and enormous stage presence. She’ll perform originals, rock anthems and selections from the American songbook with her band Le Bonheur.
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Where: The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia.
Tickets: $27-$42; $24-$38 for students, seniors and military; $23-$35 for Friends of the Center.
Also: Large suggests that her show, which includes lots of adult language and a good-size helping of sexual subject matter, is appropriate for ages 16 and up.
Watch: Large’s material varies every night, but here’s an original, “8 Miles Wide,” that captures her gleeful willingness to say whatever she’s thinking: youtube.com/watch?v=w5U-YT-mRmI.