and I had a date last night, which is rare! We are often quietly doing stuff together at home, but it's not the same as going on an adventure.
Warby Parker and Fluevog did not provide enticing retail therapy; not true for ascii who left with two pair of very-good-for-her shoes. Win! Thai food: win! Fiddle player as opening act, part of Ani's backup band, a fiddle player named Jenny who was good enough to have me get her CDs at the intermission.
Oh, my Ani. There was a time when I'd be sure to catch every show she had in my town. She was at the pinnacle of my muscial temple from the moment listened to her my senior year of college and long into my time in Boston. But as the political landscape darkened, her music did, too. It was music that was needful and good to make, but not the music that spoke to me. But I'm ridiculously loyal. I haven't missed many albums in the intervening 12 years since my interest diverged. I'd still go to most shows, but the previous two times, concerts at the Orpheum were... just not great. I left feeling grumpy not elated. Going this one more time felt a bit like a gamble.
I don't know... times changed? Venue (Berklee not Orpheum, and no booze on site... and Berklee instills in it a sense of reverence for music. In my opinion), time passing, median age of audience leaning way more towards 40 than 20 (yay), and that she'd not been out on the road for a while following a second child arriving.
She walked out onto the stage and .... I forgot how tiny she is. I forgot about that boucy gait, the mad glee, the energy that bursts from her and then a bit more with restless feet under the hot lights- The ridiculous jokes that start in the middle, that she almost doesn't tell but then can't help herself. I didn't know how deeply I missed all that, being in her presence, til she was there again and I regained a part of myself I hadn't realized had faded so far into the background that it almost wasn't there at all. A layer buried deeply under the person I am right now. She played Not a Pretty Girl then You Had Time for the first two songs, and at the first chords of You Had Time*
... and the realizations tackled me and lo, I wasn't wearing anything I couldn't wipe my
nose on. Thankfully.
I wasn't sure I could feel THAT way again, because where Ani was musically was just so far off... but now with two kids and who knows what else, her perspective and mine have so much more overlap. And my sense of activism is stronger than it was 7 years ago. Meeting in the middle? Her mom-stories just made me cackle... and her energy, that of a kid with a day pass to go play with her friends after long confinement. Her son is a year and a half now, and this is her first tour since he arrived. All that creative energy was diverted for all that time, and then let loose, she's just compulsively creating. (I wouldn't know ANYTHING about that, nope, not at all) She shared a song that she had only finished that morning, and apologizing too much for not just playing the old stuff. But she did play older stuff, thank the goddesses. It really was a gift, to have her let me have my nostalgia, and to give me a window into where she is now with her boundless enthusiasm and glee.
All this to say: I will be buying her new album(s).
*video from her September tour this year, so you get a bit of talking first, a feature not a bug for me)