I just got back from the Ani DiFranco concert at The Fillmore. The Fillmore is an awesome, historic venue, that's for sure. And acoustically, it was awesome. The best concert hall I've ever attended. But then again, the sound check went on forever, so maybe Ani's crew has just gotten better at managing various auditoriums.
Anyway, I'm going to keep this short. Let's just say the show was by far the best concert I've ever attended. By far. Ani's out supporting a lot of current projects: her first book of poetry, Verses, and her career spanning retrospective, Cannon. Oh, and there's also a new concert DVD. Anyway, she sang her pithiest and most dancable tunes. I totally danced all night and the foolish grin never left my face. The choices and performances were so good, that EVERY song was like an encore. It was two solid hours of encroes, and the audience ate it up. Most importantly, the arrangements, while loud and boisterous when they needed to be, managed the near impossible: you could almost always make out her words. Her voice soared above even the most energetic guitar and cello arrangements. The lyrics are so important to an Ani show, because they're so freaking original and full of depth. I was shaking my head the entire night in admiration.
Some of the old classics she pulled out included Untouchable Face (one of the encore songs...the entire audience knew every word), Not a Pretty Girl, Napoleon, Shameless, Two Little Girls, Evolve, and on and on. She spoke between a number of the songs, and was really funny and in great spirits, but didn't waste much time and filled the two hours with music. She even played a couple new tunes for us. One was about Katrina and New Orleans as she was there and had to return right after the storm to recovers her Reprieve tapes and some other projects she was working on. What she saw, how the poor were being left to fend for themselves, hit her hard, and the song she penned is passionate, creative, and a wake up call all at once.
She also sang a new song for her daughter, Peta, who is about 1 now. It's amazing in that she didn't go down a cliched path, instead she penned a tune about self doubt as she looked in the mirror and tore herself apart for not being pretty enough...then she's told that her daughter looks just like her, and she realizes that if that's the case, she must be beautiful...the song is subtle and amazing. Whether singing about sex, or politics, or life in general, her words and music weaved their magic. I've seen her 5 times in concert, and this was by far the best show of all. The show ended two hours ago, and I haven't come down from my high. Not even close.
Oh yeah, the gorgeous image is a poster they gave us as we exited the theater, commemorating her show on April 8, 2008 at The Fillmore. Nice. I've already found a spot for it.