Despite that, it was a pretty good show. I've seen Dar four times now (!), mostly by casual happenstance. I'll hear a week ahead of time that she's going to be somewhere nearby, and go without any major planning. I never know when she's on tour; she just shows up. In Madison, she played at the Barrymore, which was three or four blocks behind my apartment. I loved the Barrymore; I saw Dar and the Nields do a sort of team concert there, and then Dar acoustic alone, and Morrissey, and James (twice). The Barrymore had seats. I miss it. But last night's show was the closest I've ever been to the stage; there were only a few people standing in front of us. Two of the concerts I've seen have been just Dar and her guitar, and those have been my favorites. A lot of her songs sound best without added keyboards and drums, and I like the way it feels like she can play anything that comes into her head. I first heard "Calling the Moon" at a solo concert, and it was much cleaner and simpler than the organ-pumped album version. Alas, she did not play it last night. I am not the sort of person who shouts out requests, and I doubt she was taking them anyway, but I was annoyed at all the people yelling for songs like "As Cool As I Am" that don't benefit from the acoustic arrangement. I was perversely glad she never played it.
And I finally sang along to "Iowa." It only took a few years of high-pressure coercive tactics. (Gosh, you don't have to sing, but if you don't you might regret it forever.) It's a good song. I have to make Ethan that CD I've been periodically threatening..