I took my eldest daughter A, who's almost 8, to see the Indigo Girls in concert at the Palais on Friday night. We had a brilliant time. She loved every part of it - the trip in (we talked the whole way), seeing Luna Park lit up at night, the grand old Palais itself, meeting up with my friends (and her beloved aunties) who we were seeing the show with, the support act Henry Wagons (who was very funny) and then the magic of the show itself. We had fantastic seats - stalls, 5 rows from the front - and we could see very clearly, which also thrilled A. She managed to stay awake right through it, eventually hitting the sack at midnight, a good 3.5 hours later than usual.
As for me, I enjoyed the concert immensely. The Indigo Girls are my favourite band and have been since my university days, and this is the third time I've seen them live - I saw them in 1997, not long before my wedding; then in 2007, when A, then a 4-year-old, begged and begged to be allowed to come (and was promised "next time"); and now in 2011. I think, on balance, this was the best show of the three - or perhaps it was just the best experience of the three for me, because my pleasure in the music and the atmosphere was amplified by the delight manifested by A. I'm so glad that I was able to take her to see this band as her first-ever grown-up music show, so happy that she picked this so enthusiastically while her peers are all dragging their parents long to the Justin Bieber shows in Melbourne instead. (Not dissing Monsieur Bieber here - that would be unjust, as I don't believe I've ever heard a single one of his songs. I'm just saying, Indigo Girls = Much More Betterer Adult Experience ;-)
The show was just, oh, wonderful. A commented that she thought Emily was looking tired, and I agree, but her performance, while mellow, was not lacking in any of the good stuff. I just love her voice, the way it soars and weaves its way through the poetry of their lyrics. Amy, in her waistcoat and tie, looked awesome and seemed relaxed and happy to be there, which helped make the experience even better for the audience.
On the way there, I asked A what three songs she was most hoping to hear. She replied with two of the better-known old hits, Closer to Fine and Galileo, and I'll Change (a song from the newest album, Poseidon and the Bitter Bug). She asked me the same question and I said - Least Complicated, Love's Recovery, and, although I rather doubted I'd get it, Amy's version of Mark Knopfler's Romeo and Juliet. Well, we made off like bandits, with 5 out of our 6 getting an outing - only I'll Change wasn't played, and A was consoled with Sugartongue, another favourite song from Poseidon and the Bitter Bug. The highlights of the evening, musically, for me, were Amy's inspired rendition of Romeo and Juliet - it was absolutely wonderful, better than the recorded version by several orders of magnitude - along with crowd-pleasers Closer to Fine, Galileo, Watershed and Ghost.
A was fascinated and entranced by the artistry of the performance, watching Emily's fingerwork on her guitar solos with awe, listening intently to the interplay of two beautiful voices. I, as always, was struck by how the Indigo Girls seem to have the capacity to reach people where they live, with lyrics that speak to everyone: sad, pining, aching, sweet, hopeful, loving, angry, compassionate ... Every mood and season finds a place in their songs.
A commented on the way home that there were lots of what she calls "couple-ladies" at the concert who seemed to love each other a lot and be very happy. Yes, I agreed, there were. A sighed happily and said, "It's just nice when people love each other, isn't it, Mum?"
Oh yes, sweetheart. Never a truer word.
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