lifeblood: listlogs: 2003v06n023-news

ig-news-digest       saturday, february 15 2003       volume 06 : number 023

today's subjects:
  [ig-news] chicago review                  ["diane" <>]


date: thu, 13 feb 2003 19:43:23 -0600
from: "diane" <>
subject: [ig-news] chicago review

[sherlyn's note: this message was originally sent to the indigo
girls mailing list at]

indigo girls find deeper shade of blue

                          february 8, 2003

                          by jim derogatis pop music critic

                          the rock world's response to the
                          gathering storm clouds of war
                          has been surprisingly slow in
                          coming, but it is clearly on the
                          minds of some of our most
                          moving artists.

                          "singing is a good antidote to
                          war," emily saliers said five
                          songs into a typically spirited
                          performance by the indigo girls
                          at the chicago theatre
                          thursday night.

                          later on, her partner,
                          guitarist-vocalist amy ray,
                          congratulated chicago on being
                          one of the few cities in the
                          united states to pass an
                          anti-war resolution. "i still believe
                          in democracy as an alternative
                          to war," she said.

                          the indigos have never been
                          reluctant to speak their minds
                          on the pressing issues of the day--it's one of
the things that binds them to their devoted (and mostly
                          female) following, which enthusiastically sang
along through much of the 19-song set--though their
                          best songs have always addressed politics of
the more personal variety.

                          the show featured a healthy sampling of the
fans' long-standing favorites, from the rousing "closer
                          to fine" (which remains the girls' biggest
hit) to the rarely performed "virginia wolf" (no doubt pulled
                          out in honor of "the hours" and vocal requests
from fans; saliers screwed up the opening verse,
                          substituting the word "page" for "stage,"
uttered a most un-indigos-like epithet and started the song
                          again with a beaming grin). but the highlights
of the evening came in the form of new or
                          substantively reworked material.

                          a standout on "become you," the indigos'
strong eighth album, saliers' "deconstruction," was even
                          better onstage as she and ray wrung every last
bit of emotion from this epic falling-out-of-love
                          anthem, wrapping their supple harmony vocals
around poignant lines such as, "the sky starts to
                          crash, the rain on the roof starts
drumming/and laid out like cash, you take on my list of

                          ray had her stellar moments, too, retaining
much of the vim and vinegar she displayed on her solo
                          album and tours with the punk backing band the
butchies. (she's always been the rock 'n' roll heart
                          of the indigos.) she shined on the rollicking
title track from the new album, kicking the concert off in
                          high gear ("i heard you sing a rebel song"),
and she closed it with just as much spirit during a long,
                          reworked version of "chickenman/bitter root"
that allowed saliers to take a turn in the spotlight with
                          some deft and bluesy finger-picking.

                          though one of the strengths of "become you" is
the more fleshed-out sound of the full-band
                          arrangements, the indigo girls proved that
they can still be just as powerful as an acoustic duo, with
                          no bass, drums or electric guitar necessary
for them to stir a crowd's passions.

                          opening the show was chicago's honey-voiced
alternative-country chanteuse and bloodshot
                          records artist neko case.

                          case was much more comfortable than during a
set at the same venue opening for nick cave last
                          year. sandwiched between partners john
rauhouse on pedal steel and slide guitar and tom ray
                          on acoustic bass, she avoided her nervous but
humorous shtick and simply delivered the goods,
                          including a show-stopping rendition of hank
williams' heartbreaking ballad "alone and forsaken."

                          the only disappointment was a rather rude and
noisy element of the crowd that failed to give case
                          the courteous listening her emotional torch
songs so richly deserve.

                          rock music review

                          indigo girls

                          at chicago theatre

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