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Ani

Last night after work, mangofandango and I drove into downtown Providence to see Ani Difranco's show at Lupo's. (Many thanks to naivebean for sharing her Lupo's expertise with me, and letting me know what to expect!) When we got there, about five minutes before the doors opened, the line of people waiting to get in stretched halfway around the block, but we go inside in about a half an hour. It was a nice warm night so standing outside wasn't unpleasant at all.

Lupo's is a nice club with an odd layout. The main room is rectangular, with the stage against one of the long walls. The front of the stage faces the opposite long wall, but there is lots of room at the side of the stage for people to stand. However, they placed a massive tower of speakers at each corner of the stage, creating a big visual impairment for anyone who happened to be standing kitty-corner to the stage. During the show, Ani commented on this, and several times she changed location to make sure everyone got a good view of her.

Despite the odd layout, the club is set up so that, like naivebean told me, nearly no matter where you're standing you've got a decent view. Sarah and I found a nice spot on the balcony, almost directly in front of the stage and next to the lighting technician's booth.

The opening act, Joe Henry, was a rockabilly singer/songwriter who struck me as a sort of bargain-bin version of Chris Isaak. The style was nice, and he seemed talented, but all the songs he played sort of sounded the same. The notable exception was an interesting cover of Madonna's Don't Tell Me.

I was surprised when Ani began playing — I hadn't looked up any information on this tour, so I had no idea that it would be a solo set. She came out with her guitar, and began playing, singing, and dancing with enormous energy. It astounds me the sort of adrenaline that a singer like her must have to be able to do an entire show with such vigour.

Her skills as a guitarist, which I've always known were amazing, were even more so in person. Watching her complicated strumming and fingerpicking, especially accompanied by her frenetic dancing and fantastic singing, was simply stunning. If you ever get a chance to see her play Names and Dates and Times, be prepared to pick your jaw up off the floor.

The set was a pretty standard mix of songs from her newest album, Evolve, and her older singles and hits, with a few politically-charged poems sprinkled here and there, sometimes on their own and sometimes as introductions to songs. However, when the time came for her second encore, Ani noticed a fan in the front row holding a violin, and invited him onto the stage. After a few seconds' conference, they decided to play 32 Flavors, and her new accompanist added a wonderful and not-at-all timid touch.

The show was over by 11:30. It had seemed to last much longer than it actually did, and mangofandango and I were quite satisfied by the end. Amazingly, we were able to drive away from the club without encountering any traffic at all, and we made it home by midnight, exhausted and smelling strongly of smoke.

It was a great experience from beginning to end, and I'm glad we went. I think this will encourage me to try and see more shows in the future, too.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
bettiegirl
Nov. 13th, 2003 08:16 am (UTC)
YAY!! I'm so glad you had a good time.......she's soooo amazing in concert! I've seen her 4 times now....

Ani noticed a fan in the front row holding a violin, and invited him onto the stage. After a few seconds' conference, they decided to play 32 Flavors, and her new accompanist added a wonderful and not-at-all timid touch.

That must have been so completely amazing for him!
rfreebern
Nov. 13th, 2003 08:37 am (UTC)
He certainly seemed pretty excited! I was jealous of him. He also got to go backstage with her after the song was over.
(Anonymous)
Nov. 13th, 2003 06:35 pm (UTC)
I'm just commenting because I saw you post on one of the ani communities. I just have to say...

I absolutely LOVE your icon!

-kristyn

DJ: almightykris
thesupremebitch
Nov. 15th, 2003 05:56 am (UTC)
Lupo's isn't a bad place...
as long as you don't mind coming home smelling rancidly. :P
rfreebern
Nov. 15th, 2003 08:31 pm (UTC)
Enh, a good show is worth the smoky clothes! :)
dike
Nov. 18th, 2003 09:28 am (UTC)
i love ani difranco.
dyingagain
Dec. 13th, 2003 06:19 pm (UTC)
I was just looking through my journal and I had posted an entry with the halloween candy meme and I saw your name at the bottom and decided to drop by. I absolutely adore Ani Difranco. I'm so jealous that you got to see her in concert! She came here when I wasn't really a big fan, so that sucks since I don't know when the next time she'll be passing through is. I can't wait for the new album! It comes out January 20. I've all ready saved up my money to buy it :)

That's about it.
See ya,
Chris
jesslainesmith
Dec. 29th, 2003 01:25 pm (UTC)
agreed. ani rules
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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