Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
Carole King got off to a shaky, tentative start at Constitution Hall Monday evening, but by the time she finished her 90-minute set, there was not a ticketholder complaining.
A long-established pop singer and songwriter, King spends little time on the road. Perhaps that is why here animated, high-energy performance in concert Monday came as something of a suprise to at least one observer.
King opened with a spindly rendition of "Tapestry" the title cut from her first album. Before the night was over, she had worked her way through most of the songs on that hit album, to the delight of her adoring, near sell-out audience.
Rather than lull her audience into submission with oldies, however, King brought a first-rate back-up band on stage and picked up the evening's tempo.
The group, Navarro, features fine guitar work as well as an excellent sax player, Richard Hardy. With her band's assistance, King offered raucous versions of "Sweet Season," "Hard Rock Cafe" and a number of cuts from her most recent album, "Welcome Home."
From that point, King reached back to her original oldies - the rock 'n' rollers she and Gerry Coffin penned for groups like the Drifters nearly 20 years ago: "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," "Up On the Roof," "One Fine Day" - even the ghost of little Eva was brought back with "Locomotion."
The concert was not without its soft spots - an ill-advised bit of truth and beauty entitled "Recipients of History" was mostly embarrassing, and the time devoted to a disco sendup might have been to better use.
Still, for a woman who generally spurns the concert hall, Carole King seemed to be having a lot of fun. So did her audience.