Monday, April 19, 2010

Ani DiFranco - Omaha April 18, 2010 The Slowdown

If you were to draw up THE set list that most Ani DiFranco fans would kill to hear, I think Omaha's stop on this current tour would be pretty darn close to what it would look like.

The night before in Des Moines, the show was sleepy and very current as the theatre audience allowed Ani to play slower tracks that honestly were difficult to digest on a Saturday night.

The next night however, Ani ripped into her version of what could be called a "greatest hits show" if she ever wanted to do one.

Talk about a different show from one night to the next!

Classic songs exploded into my ears from the first Ani album I ever bought - Dilate which shot me back to walking the UMass campus with Untouchable Face blaring on my headphones. Amazing tracks from Little Plastic Castle including Swan Dive (my favorite DiFranco song and a huge source of inspiration for my radio career) and Red Letter Year's incredibly political Alla This filled the 90 minute set list.

She played Grey32 Flavors, Fuel, and Napoleon!

The show was so good that I actually reverted back to being 19 again and asked for the set list from the sound old trick that I used to pull out for only the biggest of shows.

It was simply an amazing night. If you love Ani DiFranco, that set list should make you just say "WOW!"

2 Shows in 2 nights that could not have been more different but so much fun. Just another reason why Ani DiFranco is my favorite female artist ever.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ani DiFranco - Des Moines April 17, 2010 Hoyt Sherman Theatre

I'm not a concert reviewer and I'm completely biased when it comes to Ani so don't read this if you want me to get all critical on you.

The song Swan Dive has been used by me as inspiration for my career and the things that I've done over the past 12 years and I believe I owe a lot of determination to her story.

So when I sit down to talk about a show that I saw last night in Des Moines, I will instead just tell you what I thought about it, give you the set list and look forward to seeing Ani in Omaha tonight!

Ani, over the past 5 years or so, has become a 90 minute act nearly to the minute. Her concerts are shockingly punctual which is understandable given that she has been on tour for nearly 2 decades now.

At 9 pm - you will see Ani hit the stage and 90 minutes and 2 encore songs later - she will depart. Die-hard fans understand this and have grown accustomed to it but some feel like for an artist with nearly 300 songs recorded, she should play longer.

I don't really care either way - I just want to see her play.

Last night, I sat with two of my friends who were seeing Ani for the first and second time. I felt a little bad for them because the set list last night was not for the casual fan and it looks like that has been the case over the past few shows. DiFranco is playing very current songs - mostly off her Reprieve, Knuckle Down, and Red Letter Year albums. She did go back and play a few of her popular older stuff but this set this was very political and very current.

Maybe it was because she was in Des Moines for the first time in a while and wanted to talk more about the issues of the day surrounding the election of Obama, the Tea-baggers of the 15th, or her new found love of parenting, but it was one of the most unique Ani shows I've ever seen.

I'm not saying, as the lyric goes, "They taught me different was wrong" however. I've seen Ani since 1995 play live, so many times that I've lost count (somewhere around 15 or so) but last night was one that I will remember for sure because of how different it was .

Set List (Best of my memory, sorry if I get something wrong):
78% H2O
Lag Time
Red Letter Year
November 5, 2008
Which Side Are You On
***Didn't know it*** Left to say?
The Atom
Both Hands


Monday, April 12, 2010

It's Ani Week!!!

Ani Difranco is coming to Des Moines on Saturday and Omaha on Sunday. She is, by far, my favorite female artist. I've seen her more times than I can count - around 15. I was 18 when I first came across her music....14 years and every CD later....I can't wait to see her in the city I'm living in!!

To get you ready, here's an NPR Ani Show:

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Song For Turning 33...

Today's my birthday. As my mother told me today when she called me this Easter Sunday - the day we remember the resurrection of Christ, that Jesus died when he turned 33. Today, I turned 33 on Easter. I have no idea what she was getting at with that but she thought it was interesting. 

I heard this song today and thought it reminded of my life. Death Cab For Cutie's I Was Once a Loyal Lover

WIll I have learned so very little
When these bones are old and brittle?
I wait to talk when I should listen
And cloud mistakes with false revisions

All my friends are forward-thinking
Getting hitched and quitting drinking
And I can feel them pulling away
As I'm resigned to stay the same

And you can't even begin to know
How many times I've told myself "I told you so"

I was once a loyal lover
Whose lips did never seek another's
But now each love's more like a match
A blinding spark that burns out fast

And they all conclude with the same sentence:
"I've never met someone more self-centered
Who thinks that life with a nice girl's like
Waiting for a bus to work"

And you can't even begin to know
How many times I've told myself "I told you so"
And you can't even begin to believe
There's so many bridges engulfed in flames behind me

If you deem it so
Just cut the cord and go
You'll be fine
There's plenty of hills to climb

You can't even begin to know
How many times I've told myself "I told you so"
And you can't even begin to believe
There's so many bridges engulfed in flames behind me