Monday, April 15, 2024

Storm Large Performs at the Valentine Theatre

Storm Large will take the historic Valentine stage Saturday, April 11 at 7:30 pm. 

Large’s name truly speaks for itself, as her powerful, versatile voice commands and transcends many genres.

Photo provided via Opus 3 Artists.

For most of her 30-year music career, Large has worked independently, other than her management and projects with Pink Martini, and has steered away from the mainstream music industry. This independence has allowed her to have a lot of “creative freedom,” while doing what she loves, according to Large.

“I have been, like most mousy women, shunned from the establishment. But I have a great audience and a great career. I’m very happy where I am. I get to play cool places like the haunted Valentine Theatre,” Large said.

Large said audience members can expect to hear “some filthy language and rock and roll songs.” Her setlist is comprised of both covers and her original tracks.

“It’ll be beautiful, poignant, funny, maybe scary. And definitely a big fat dose of silly. I take my work seriously; I don’t take myself seriously,” Large said.

Photo provided via Opus 3 Artists.

Large became a national figure after she appeared as a finalist on the CBS show, Rock Star: Supernova in 2006, where she also formed a loyal fan base that continues to follow her today.  

In April 2011, Large debuted as the guest vocalist for the Portland band Pink Martini, with four back-to-back sold-out concerts at the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. She was also seen on the 2021 season of America’s Got Talent where she made it to the judge’s-cut round. 

Large’s talents supersede music – she is also a playwright and author. Her 2012 memoir, Crazy Enough was named Oprah’s Book of the Week and given the 2013 Oregon Book Award For Creative Nonfiction.

Tickets for Large’s performance at the Valentine Theatre can be purchased on the Valentine website. Tickets start at $49.

RELATED: Storm Large at the Valentine Ticket Giveaway

This is Large’s second time in Toledo. Her first performance in the Glass City was in February 2018 with the Toledo Symphony

“I just kind of got a big crush on Toledo,” Large said.

She plans on staying in the city for a few days around the show to explore and enjoy Toledo.

“You can probably find me at the Maumee Antique Mall,” Large joked. “It’s one of the coolest places I’ve ever been.” 

Get to know Storm Large:

Who are some of your inspirations? 

Large: When I was young, it was a lot of punk rock. I used to fantasize that Henry Rollins was my dad. And because he was so tough. I was like, he’d beat people up for me, he’d yell at them for me in the most poetic amazing way.

Also, I loved Nina Hagen because she was very punk rock, but she had a big theatrical voice like I had, because I didn’t sound punk rock when I sang, but I wanted to be punk rock. So when I heard Nina Hagen, being all operatic and still super punk rock, I was like, wow – she had like a six-octave range or something insane. I’m not as trained as she was, but I had a similar approach to my music because she did. Siouxsie and the Banshees, I mean, when I was little.

Nowadays, I, like most people, kind of happen upon people recommend albums and artists to me. I have my tried and true old schools, but people like Billie Eilish, I love her poetry. I love her writing. I love Olivia Rodrigo. I really was really moved by the record that “Vampire” (Guts) was on. There’s some really cool truths being sung beautifully and written really cleverly by women now, with less fear of stigma around being anxious or depressed or reacting to their environment – and not being afraid of being called crazy.

Can you tell me about your creative process and why you lean towards the style that you do?

Large: You know, I don’t know if I can. I just know what moves me. If something moves me and it makes sense to me emotionally I will pursue it. As far as my writing goes, I write every day. I don’t write music every day; I write and think of stories almost every day. Music is sort of a medium I use to pay and illustrate a narrative; each show is kind of like a musical theater piece strung together with songs being like the beads on a necklace. Or maybe a rosary. It’s like a hero’s journey for the show: you start out in one place and then hopefully, by the end, you all feel very empowered and glorious, joyful and you feel seen – you feel understood.

Most of the shows that I do are just like “Yeah, it’s f—d up, we’re living in really tough times.” Right? The good news, the bad news. The good news is all of us are in the same timeline. We’re all on the same kind of algorithm right now. But right now we’re all in this room together. And isn’t that miraculous? How weird is that? How many things have to happen in order for us all to be here together in this moment?

It’s not a typical show where someone is on stage and the audience is not on stage and they’re looking up at you and you’re lit up, makeup on, you’re shiny and you’re separate in some way. I don’t isolate people or pull people out of the audience or make a spectacle out of anyone, but I do include everybody; I am kind of in and of the audience. I need the audience, whether it’s two people who work at a bar or a packed 3,000-seat theater. I’m just kind of a lonely, lonely person. And I don’t want anyone to feel lonely, including myself. That show stirs all that up and then glues it together.

What can we expect from your setlist?

Large: We do covers sometimes we do the straight, like kind of close to the original. And sometimes we do them a little twisted. I haven’t decided what the narrative for Ohio is gonna be yet. It’s probably just kind of like buckle up, here we go again and be good to yourselves, be good to each other. A little bit of, probably some filthy language and rock and roll songs. I don’t, I’m not sure what will be in the setlist yet but it’ll be beautiful, poignant, funny, maybe scary. And definitely a big fat dose of silly. I take my work seriously; I don’t take myself seriously.

What made you want to become a musician?

Large: I became a musician because like I said, I was very lonely. Had a really sh-tty childhood and was always made to feel like a freak and a weirdo. And in being made to feel like a freak and a weirdo, was really ostracized and very lonely because I was different. Oddly, I guess different people don’t see themselves as very different. But I still don’t see myself as very different; I’m kind of old fashioned. But I just wanted to be happy to see me. I wanted to be a part of something. I wanted to be valuable in some way. And if I could make people happy, that would mean that they would want to see me again.

Really, that’s it. That was a very childish, innocent way to stumble into a very difficult career of more rejection, more super harsh judgments. And being told that “I’m not cool, I’m not beautiful, I’m not skinny, I’m not young, I’m not whatever things that I was supposed to be in order to be successful. You can be successful as long as you just aren’t who you are.” But here I am, 30 years later, not rich and famous, but very successful by any measure.

For more information or to purchase tickets for Storm Large at the Valentine Theatre, visit

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