DiFranco - Concert @ Redbird Arena - Normal, IL
32 Flavors and Then Some
at the Redbird Arena promptly at 7:30 because I wanted to
make sure I found my seat. Of course, at first, I didn't.
My seat was assigned under section L, not J. So, I move over
to L. I was pleased with where I was; it wasn't the best,
but at least I didn't have a view of the speakers like I thought
I was going to.
the opening act, whose name, regrettfully I couldn't catch,
came out. It was a drummer, a guitarist, and someone who played
horns. They were very lively; however, I don't think that
the audience appreciated their sweet jams as much as I. They
played about five songs; each song lasting from 7-10 minutes.
During one song, a couple of ladies, whose names also slipped
from me, came to the stage and read one of Suzanne Sommers'
poems about being a woman. This was when the audience took
notice of the band and thought they were cool.
lights dimmed again around 9:00 for Ani, most of the people
there moved out of their assigned seats, myself included,
to get a better view of the stage and Ani's entrance. She
wore a black tank top with overalls. I imagine that this outfit
is the most comfortable given the fact that the limelight
is on her. The first song that she and the band performed
was "Virtue" from her recent album Up
Up Up Up Up Up. I hadn't originally liked this song
too much from the album, but hearing it live was just awesome!
Ani rocks her four different guitars and rocks herself, swaying
with the music. It is so cool when the whole audience is standing
up and dancing along with every song.
found amazing about Ani is her ability to slightly change
her old and familiar songs so that they seem new. She did
this with "32 Flavors," "The Diner," and "Not So Soft." Another
awesome thing about Ani is her ability to work in another
song while she is performing the original. The first example
is with the first song; while she doesn't play "Virtue" in
its entirety, she brings in the ending of "Know Now Then"
to end both songs. Very cool! The other example was during
one of the last songs, "Cradle and All." Inside "Cradle and
All," she brings in "Pulse," a song where she shows off her
ability to be very sensual with her singing. Inside of "Pulse"
and "Cradle and All" is when she introduces the band: Darren
Hahn on drums, Jason Mercer on bass, and Julie Wolff on keyboards.
As an added bonus, during "Angry Anymore," Julie plays the
accordion right next to Ani, sharing the same mic and all.
It was awesome, but Ani states with a laugh, "All this yee-hawing
stuff isn't as easy as it looks!"
spoke out politically to the crowd, addressing this upcoming
law where if you're caught with drugs, then you're withheld
financial help from the government for an education. She put
it in a way that I can't quote, but it definitely roused emotions
in everyone standing. Basically she said that it's not the
drug use that's the problem, but the overuse and that we need
to find out WHY there is that overuse. This was her introduction
to her song "Tis of Thee." It was very moving.
I was quite pleased with the performance. In fact, the highlight
of the performance was the final encore, "Both Hands." It
was just Ani and her acoustic. Of course, the audience singing
along too. It was quite amazing; if anything, this was the
song that made me realize that Ani fans are truly connected.
You Had Time
Not So Soft
Out of Range
Tis of Thee
Cradle and All / Pulse