Ani Difranco at the Burton Cummings Theatre

Ani DiFranco concert photo

Ani Difranco at the Burton Cummings Theatre, Sept 19 2009. Ailsa Dyson photo

Review and photos – Ani Difranco at the Burton Cummings Theatre, Sept 19 2009

-text by eugene osudar/photos by Ailsa Dyson

she comes out
strong
and tough
grooving
and
moving
in crouches and slide
steps
popping fingers
on the wood
of her guitar
strumming
hard,fast,sharp
its strings
rumbling
in the PA
it’s all funky
and
instant energy
her guitar
playing
is poetry
on the beats
sweet rhythms
ricocheting inside
the listener’s
heart,soul
caress

she has her devotees,

“it’s going to be a spiritual
experience,”
a friend says
before the set,

Anticipate
Half-Assed
Manhole
Red Letter Year
You Had Time
Napoleon
Splinter
Nov. 5, 2008
Sunday Morning
Present/Infant
The Atom
Alla This
Which Side Are You On?
Grey
Everest
Shameless

encore,

Little Plastic Castle
32 Flavors

18 songs
90 minutes
in a hot Burton Cummings
Theatre
plus 30 outside
hotter inside,
September 19th!

Ani tells the story
of her first move
as a rock star,
telling her booking
agent,
no more Winnipeg
in January,

then she rocket
launches
deep
wind/up
energy
Half-Assed
whirlwind
un,spooling
tight,
hard/woven
threads
around her ecstatic
soul
she’s tripping and
slipping
the jet streams
ready to explode
Full-Assed
kicking (against
the pricks)
into highest
gear
air
oxygen
breathing
kisses.

Anticipate!

always kisses
(ready lips)
always caresses
(ready body)
and we’re feeling
it
accepting
it
her enormous
soul’s
kisses…

these
melting
hugs.

Red Letter Year
“a drunken lament
for New Orleans”
after “Katrina came
along and bitch-slapped
everything.”
kicking against
the pricks
and dicks
like
the monkey-
faced
man in the helicopter
above.

You Had Time
“how can i go home
with nothing to say…
you are a china shop
and i am a bull.”
i love a song
about the truthful
intricacies
of person to
person
intimacies.

Splinter
talking about
global warming
in the context
of our interconnectedness
how so many
are afraid
to feel anymore,
feel the heat
of summer
feel the cold
of winter
to even
feel the touch
of this wondrous
song,
to feel
to be
human, again
“sweat in the summer
shiver in the winter
just enough to know
we’re alive…
balance,balance,balance,
women who bleed and
bleed and bleed…
open the windows…
here’s to feeling
connected to everything…
being connected
to everything.”

November 5, 2008
“glorious, hot date with
the US Presidential election…
i woke up and i knew
it was love. so i wrote
the song.” a love song
to the new President.
a Red Hot
celebration song
talking about Obama’s
spiritual mix,
Abraham Lincoln
and
Martin Luther King Jr.
and,
there’s no debate!
Yes We Can
do better
than,
the darkness
and
the shame(fulness)
of the previous
Regime.

Sunday Morning
Ani plays her guitar
and dances
to the smooth
funky
bass solo
grooves of
Todd Sickafoose

The Atom
another gorgeous
song jewel
“the glory of the atom…
the smallest unit of matter…
uniting bird and rock
and you and me…
oh holy is the atom…
the truly intelligent design…
messing with the atom
is the highest
form of blasphemy.”

there’s a theme
emerging
from the show,
interconnectedness,
interweaving
fabrics of thoughts,
and dreams.
a religion of souls
soul to soul
person to person
united in these songs
of birth
and motherhood
and blood
tides and stars
moon and sun
and spiritual kisses
(Yes We Can)
all matter
all things
all people

the pulpit.
is the stage.
we’re in church.
the hot,hot theatre.
we’re dancing.
sweetly
softly.
accepting
beauty.

“an old fashioned
folk rant”
Alla This
dedicated to an old mentor
Utah Phillips, as the cheer
goes up for Utah,
Ani says,
“you know Winnipeg,
you know.”
it was a December
in Winnipeg
when the folk community
came together
for a benefit for Utah
(like communities did
all over North America)
left without health care
and crippling bills to pay
like so many in America,
in that America
where now
they attack the President
for
his compassion
and
his humanity,
that’s the insanity.
to not care
for the sick.
to be
compassionless.
that’s
the cancer
in the souls
of so many
in America.

Which Side Are You On?
“…an old, old song,
dates back to the 1930s
and the labor struggle.”
with updated lyrics
added, to rally
our humanity
for the struggle
and yes,
the fight. cuz that other
side
all they do
is bully.

Everest
is a beautiful climb
and diving headlong
into
a free,falling
twisting
turning
of phrase
“from the height of the Pacific
to the depths of Everest”
with
Andy Borger’s
percussion
(jazz,funk
tempos
and box playing
throughout the evening).

leading into a hot ending,
concert bookends,
beginning with Anticipate
and ending with
Shameless

the encores,
are
Red Hot,
Little Plastic Castle
and
32 Flavors
and
we’re singing,

this community
united
in this belief
and this faith
our religion
is
our sacred
interconnectedness.

Yes We Can.

Ani DiFranco
Winnipeg
Burton Cummings Theatre
September 19

About Eugene Osudar

“born, august 16, 1963. i’m 45, and yes, i’m getting too old for this. bring out the rocking chair. my first concert, november 1978, elvis costello and the attractions. i was 15. their blisteringly brilliant 65 minute set only served somebody to affirm my new direction in the musical parallel universes, new wave punk alternative, oh sanctity oh celebration (!Freedom!) college radio! i’m old, i’m used up and i’m free. i see 50something Full sets of music every month and dance most of them. and when i dance, i mean to say, I Dance and Celebrate, 2/3/4 hours a night. The Gaslight Anthem. The Boss. The Weber Brothers. The Wind Ups. i’ll dance with Los Campesinos. i’ll move to The Long Winters. The Replacements. Husker Du. The Pogues. oh elvis costello, oh Clash! i could go/go/go Gogol Bordello forever. L(eonard) Cohen. come, Dance With Me (Old 97s) wherever you may be, sincerely, eugene
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