ATTRITION Music: Ani DiFranco Concert Review

Review: Ani DiFranco

Event: Live in Concert

Venue: Universal Amphitheater, Los Angeles, CA

Date: April 18, 2000

April 18, 2000 - Hamell on Trial / Ani DiFranco - Universal Amphitheater

When I arrived at the venue I still had no idea who the opening act was as it had not been announced. A guy walked out on stage with an accoustic guitar and was introduced as "Hamell on Trial". At first I was a little concerned as this was a one man band with only an accoustic guitar. He immediatly luanched into a song that hooked me right away. In my opinion the best description of Hamell on Trial would be a mix between punk and spoken word. Very very cool music and all the lyrics were stories and observations. One of the best songs was something to the effect of "I want to kill your kid." The story behind the song was he was dating someone who had a 14 year old kid who was sort of a shithead. Funny lyrics. I was so impressed with Hamell I picked up his CD at the show.

After about a 30 minute intermission Ani Difranco and her band took the stage. Besides her usual bass guitar/upright bass player, drummer, and keyboardist, there were two additional band member, a saxaphonist, and trombonist. The air in the venue was definitly charged. The addition of the two new band members really added sort of a jazzy flavor to the music which I found to be really cool.

This is the second time I have had the pleasure of catching Ani live and I was once again, truly impressed. Unfortunatly I forgot a paper and pen to try and keep track of a set list but she probably played about 15 songs, two of which were brand new. Both the new songs were incredible although very mellow, as with most of her last CD, 'To the Teeth'. Ani definitly seems to be losing a bit of her anger.

The only thing lacking was her covering two of my all time favorite songs, 'Untouchable Face' and 'Napolean'. It was all worth it though when she came out for an intermission and played 'To the Teeth' mostly solo with the exception of the last quarter of the song in which the rest of the band came out and joined her. For those of you who don't know, this song was written shortly after the Columbine tragedy and is a very moving song.

Overall an excellent concert. Not only was I introduced to some new music which I really liked alot, but Ani but on her usuall excellent show. One of the things that really stands out for me at Ani's shows is the fact that she talks to the audience. Not like most bands who might say an occasional 'thank you' between songs, but Ani actually talks to the audience, tells stories, makes comments. It really adds a personal touch to the whole experience.

I am going to break away from my normal reviewing style to bring up a couple of trends that I always see happen at shows that just plain annoy the shit out of me. First of all, during the opening act everyone was seated. When Ani took the stage everyone stood for the rest of the show with the exception of mabey one or two songs. Now I can see standing if your going to dance to the music or something but 99% of the boneheads there just stood with there arms crossed or their hands in their pockets. Next on my list, idiots who try to sing the words to all of the songs. It's funny I bring thisup because in the middle of one of her songs Ani stopped playing and did a short rant about this very thing. Especially when seeing an Artist as dynamic as Ani who tends to change the lyrics up a bit when playing live, this is just damned annoying. Next is cluless idiots who clap to the music. Yes, I can see clapping at some bible revival concert or something, but usually this doesn't work. And lastly, people who light up their lighters at concerts. I was under the impression that lighting a bic at a concert sort of went the ay of White Snake and other 80's hair bands. Okay I feel better now, thank you for listening.

Comments to punkis[at]

More Info on Ani DiFranco
Ani DiFranco Home Page
Ani Difranco in the UBL
Great Ani Fan Page
ANI Images, sounds and music samples
Ani Lyrics

1995 Ani DiFranco
1995 Imperfectly
1995 Like I Said (Songs 1990-91)
1995 Not A Pretty Girl
1995 Not So Soft
1995 Out of Range
1995 Puddle Dive
1996 Dilate
1996 More Joy, Less Shame [EP]
1996 The Past Didn't Go Anywhere
1997 Living in Clip [Box Set]
1998 Little Plastic Castle
1998 WXRV Presents: Live..
1999 Up Up Up Up Up Up

1998 Dilate [extra tracks]
1998 Dilate [extra tracks]
1998 Little Plastic Castle [xtra tks]
1998 Little Plastic Castle [xtra tks]
1998 Living In Clip
1998 Not a Pretty Girl [extra tracks]
1999 Up Up Up Up Up [extra tracks]
???? Up Up Up Up Up +1 [xtra tks]
???? Angry Anymore [single]
???? Not a Pretty Girl +1
1998 Women in (E)Motion
1999 Angry Anymore [single]

More Info on Hamell on Trial
Hamell on Trial Homepage

main page ATTRITION feedback