lifeblood: songs: backgrounds: city of sin


1995-03: inspired duo: indigo girls, big fish dazzle, des moines register:

pairing the indigo girls with big fish ensemble was an inspired ticket choice. the two bands share atlanta roots and complement each other like good old southern friends should.

anyone in the sell-out crowd at stephens auditorium friday night who expected to hear just a pair of understated women strum safe folk songs was probably blown away by big fish ensemble's opening set. it's true they belong to a musical genre that's sometimes been dubbed "american music." groups like the violent femmes and american music club have explored this territory, and "quirky" is a frequent description.

unconventional

but big fish ensemble displayed the most "quirk" per dollar possible, and they gave pop the kiss-off. songs like "i hate parties" and "drank too much" squeezed satire and groove together. lyrically, they often echo phish.

the core of the ensemble is a quintet of two guitars, a bass, drums and electric violin. but that's just the beginning, because all the members are multi-talented, playing as many as 15 different instruments; xylophone and baritone solos were featured.

the night was actually more of a music performance collective than a concert of two bands. the indigo girls made their first appearance during the ensemble's set, and the two instantly owned the place. when amy ray and emily saliers were on stage, the crowd stood reverently. [tho hardly quietly.] they came out for the set closer, elvis costello's "what's so funny 'bout peace love and understanding." that one song represented what you can't appreciate about the indigo girls by just listening to the radio, hearing a couple of singles released off each record.

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1995-04: indigo girls with big fish ensemble, volante:

taking their southern folk-rock into the uncharted territories of south dakota, indigo girls performed in this state for the first time when they played rockfest march 30 in the dakotadome. opening band big fish ensemble se the mood with a unique combination of instruments, including some violin incorporation (and xylophones). for the last song of their set, big fish ensemble was joined by igs for a jam reminiscent of the collaboration the indigo girls continually seek out. (actually, they played the second song of big fish ensemble's set with them, too.)


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