Ani DiFranco, Live in Buffalo

Yesterday I had the good fortune to see Ani DiFranco in her home town of Buffalo, NY. (That's four shows in a little over two years, I believe.) This one was a world apart from the other shows I've seen. The first two were in theatres, the third in a covered music arena. Nice seats, if not fully air conditioned.

Not this time.

The concert itself was a two day "Uncle Sam's Jam," a freebie show presented by... well, I'm not sure who. The stage was set up on the steps of Buffalo City Hall, the crowd sprawled half way across Niagara Square. I showed up much later than the 4:00 PM I was shooting for, but Hammel on Trial didn't even step on stage until around 6:00 PM. (I was without my chronometer, but I think that's a good approximation.) Late afternoon weather was hot and humid, which quickly gave way to torrential downpours.

I was a just little damp when Hammel on Trial got on stage. Twenty minutes into Ani's show I looked like I'd just been swimming in Lake Erie with all my clothes on. I was standing in four inches of water, having long since missed my chance for the high ground of the curbstone. It's been twenty-four hours and my shoes are still drying. Ani herself said it was a "unique experience," even after all her years on the road.

Ani was awesome, as always. There was a much better dynamic than the last show I was at. She did "My IQ," "God's Country," "Swan Dive," "Educated Guess," and, of course, "Independence Day," to name a few tracks. The set list was pretty similar to the Tabernacle CD. Todd Sickafoose backed her up on bass, but his amp kicked out after the ten minute rain intermission. Bummer.

Awesome, especially for a free show. Well worth the drive.