The first song that Julee Cruise sang at Gaston Hall Monday night was "I Float Alone," and for the next hour or so the "Twin Peaks" chanteuse nearly did. Far more seats were empty than were occupied in the ornate hall, giving an odd twist to the David Lynch lyric -- "And in this darkness/ this empty space/ I float alone" -- that seemed at once appropriate and ironic.
No doubt many of those who did attend the concert wanted to find out whether Cruise could transform what is essentially soundtrack music, composed by Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti, into something worth seeing as well as hearing. What there was to see, however, was basically one big yawn. Wearing a black dress and later a red one, Cruise fronted a five-piece synthesizer and sax band while dreamily intoning Lynch-Badalamenti tunes from "Twin Peaks," "Blue Velvet" and her recent album, "Floating Into the Night."
It's hard to deny the moody allure of Cruise's smokey blue soprano or the insinuating power of Badalamenti's languid melodies, but apart from some jagged jazz edges and coolly distilled doo-wop here and there, the performances were clearly better suited to the background than the foreground.