By David Bienenstock

On the last night of her world tour in support of Comfort of Strangers, Beth Orton returned to New York City, where she originally recorded the critically acclaimed album, her first since 2002’s Daybreaker. Over the course of one long set and two encores, the British singer-songwriter best known for her lilting voice and collaborations with electronica artists like William Orbit and The Chemical Brothers treated loyal fans to a wide selection of her newest tracks and oldest hits, alternating between fronting a tight, road-tested backing band and stripping down to harmonica and acoustic guitar to hold the sold-out crowd completely captivated all by her lonesome. Highlights included “Worms,” from Strangers, featuring Orton’s sole turn at the piano, “Sweetest Decline,” as part of the second, solo encore, and early favorites “Sugar Boy” and “She Cries Your Name.”

Orton also told an amusing joke to pass the time while tuning her guitar. “What is ET short for?” She asked, pausing before delivering the punch line in her fetching English accent. “Because he’s got little legs.”