Gaby Moreno opened up the show, playing some pop songs in Spanish and English. She had a beautiful, soulful voice that kind of reminded me of Fiona Apple. She (as well as her bassist and drummer) seemed so joyful playing. I really love watching bands play who look like they love what they're doing! It bums me out when the musicians look bored or apathetic. She has a debut album, Still the Unknown, which is available on her website. My only complaint was that her set was very short.
It's been about a decade since I've seen Ani Difranco live. When I was young I saw her a million times (okay, somewhere over 20 I lost count.) The music was much lower key than most of the things I listened to at the time, but I felt so connected to her outspoken ways, her politics, her rage, her poetry. So when I saw she was coming to a new venue, Showcase Live in Foxboro, I had to check out the show. I'm glad I did because I remembered what I loved so much about this fierce woman.
First of all, she played a very passionate performance. At some points she looked like she was going to cry, and even mumbled something to the effect of "why am I playing this song?" My thoughts--better to play it and get it out of you, than to keep it festering inside! At other times she looked so joyful. Her emotions and connections to her songs were really beautiful to observe.
Her banter included saying hello to "Massahugetits" (I've never heard that one!), wanting to impeach Republican Senators, whisper in Barack's ear and show up in his dreams, and talks about her "Babydaddy."
As always, she had a great sense of humor. She made fun of herself (and past relationships) and said that no one should practice monogamy until their first gray hair, because it just doesn't work, before playing the new song Promiscuity. She played several other new, unreleased songs, as well as Garden and She Says.
She dedicated a song (that always reminds her of Utah Phillips) to Howard Zinn, and talked about calling him up to write linear notes for one of her albums. She also talked about playing the song Whose Side Are You On (below) for Pete Seeger's Birthday.
Someone in the audience yelled "play something from Dilate" so the encore consisted of Shameless and Untouchable Face, which I was very pleased to hear, as this was the first Ani album I ever bought. All in all, a great venue (1050 capacity) and a great show. And it was also a nice change to be surrounded by 1000 women!