el diablo robotico (platypus) wrote,
el diablo robotico

We went to see Dar Williams last night. On Monday, I was eating lunch and looking through the weekly paper, and I noticed she was going to be in town on Thursday. I asked Ken if he wanted to (or would) go, and (mistakenly) interpreted his somewhat neutral response as assent. He ended up going anyway, which was nice, but I'd forgotten how uncomfortable it can be to watch a concert in a venue with no seats. Standing gets uncomfortable. Sitting on the ground gets uncomfortable. My back hurt at the end of the night, and if my back hurts then Ken's back REALLY hurts.

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..
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