Written by Samuel Barker
Oct 13, 2003 at 08:00 PM
ImageIt’s not often that a single person can fill a venue with sound and captivate an entire audience without any help. Maybe in a small club, but definitely not in a large theater, right? Well, Ani DiFranco, with only her humor, honesty and acoustic guitar, captivated the audience on this night with her personal and socially aware folk songs.For anyone who has ever desired to see Woody Guthrie, DiFranco is as close as you will get to seeing the spirit of Woody Guthrie in music today. And with DiFranco, it is as close as anyone will ever get to carrying themselves with the strength and conviction of Guthrie.

Besides the power and weight of the lyrics and ideas, the evening was filled with light moments as DiFranco communicated with the audience throughout the set. As she finished her opening number, about a run-in with a state trooper, she commented on how as soon as she stepped to the front of the stage she experienced stage fright, which was met with a quick, “It’s alright baby!” from a woman in the audience. Moments like these kept the show on an intimate level despite the size of the venue.

As the night moved on, the mood mellowed and people loosened up, dancing along and singing at points. DiFranco made everyone feel at home through her musings and constant smiles while on the stage, no matter how serious her song was. Emotion was high, but it was comfortable. This made the message easier to read and more willingly understood.

On this night, the Righteous Babe who has been noted as being loud and angry was gentle and understanding in her message, she was human.

One of the interesting parts of DiFranco’s show is the lobby of the venue, where plenty of booths were set up for political organizations and social causes. Rather than just go to the venue to see some music and be entertained, the avenue for learning was opened. Who says entertainment can’t offer enlightenment?