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):
Red Letter Year
November 5, 2008
Which Side Are You On
***Didn't know it*** Left to say?