Thursday, April 24, 2008

I Spy(ied) Ani DiFranco

Last night, Liz and I went to an Ani DiFranco concert at the Moore theater in downtown Seattle.

MAN! It was great.

Although, first, I will air grievances. I remembered why I don't particularly enjoy most large concerts:

- The speakers are way too loud. I really should have brought earplugs. This coming from someone who sits in big bands with riotous trombones right behind her and no problems (usually). (Truth be told, most "real" musicians I know wear earplugs when playing.)

- People scream far too much. I am glad they are glad to see the artist / performer, but ...really. There is always a "screamer" right behind you (sort of like getting the plane seat in front of the puking baby or kid kicking the back of your seat from Honolulu to Paris...).

- People insist on singing along to the music. If you sing along under your breath, I could care less. In fact, I bob around and mouth the words to songs. It's when the crowd's bad karaoke drowns out the singer on stage that I get annoyed. I did not pay $50 to hear your tone-deaf ass sing "Not A Pretty Girl". Leave it at home. Let Ani sing. (On second thought, maybe that's why the speakers are so loud).

- People smell bad. Behind us was a girl who smelled like she had smuggled in 10 of those cheap fake-vanilla scented candles under her coat. Blah! The gay guy sitting next to me offered me his handkerchief when I had a few sneezes going. :)

Now, lest you think I'm a negative nancy, here is what I enjoy about concerts:

- viewing the demographic of the concertgoers beforehand. Ani is, of course, very popular with the LGBT crowd, as well as feminists. I also saw a disproportionate amount of overweight women in attendance. Lots of dyed hair, college aged kids. Some teenage girls there with their moms, then there were the scattering of people who looked like they'd come from somewhat more urban workplaces (Liz, me, some couples strewn around).

- The opening act. It's often interesting. This one was a chick named Animal Prufrock and a feminist poet, whose name I can't remember (sorry!). I was disengaged until Animal did a song called "The Best Cock on the Block", followed shortly thereafter by "Walk There, Taxi Back", which was hilarious and is still stuck in my head. She sort of reminds me of a female Beastie Boy, but with automated drumbeats.

- Getting to see the artist live. I forgot how good of a guitar player Ani DiFranco really is. It was nice to watch.

- An unexpected bonus. I don't know why they had one, but there was an ASL (American Sign Language) translator there for the whole performance. It was impressive as hell. One woman did the opening act, and one did Ani's set. They were seriously moving through the whole set! I really respect those women - they not only have to simultaneously translate what the person is saying, but they tended to be rhythmic and look great while they were doing it. It was a cool little side show! :)

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