By Pamela Bendezu, Rock At Night Orlando Correspondent
Venue: Plaza Live-Orlando, Florida-January 15, 2016
As soon as I knew Ani DiFranco was coming to The Plaza Live in Orlando, I was clearly excited about seeing this gifted artist known for her folksy energetic music with a message. Ani has a huge strong and loyal underground following– and on Friday night it was apparent by the appearance of an older crowd of mostly females whom had likely followed her since her emergence in the scene in the 1990s. The venue was packed to the hilt, including the balconies.
The opening act for the evening was Ed Hamell AKA Hammel on Trial, Ani’s longtime friend and Righteous Babe Records protege. Hamell On Trial played the acoustic guitar and had everyone in stitches with his rapid-fire quips and hilarious songs, often compared to Bill Hicks stand-up comedy routine.
Then, Ani emerged to play her set accompanied by drums and a stand-up bass. It was exhilarating to finally see her live and well worth the wait! Her voice and energy were on point and the feel of the show was very intimate as she chatted with the audience and exuded much warmth. She spoke to the audience about the importance of voting but did not endorse any particular candidate. It is a well-known fact Ani has been a longtime activist for equal rights, justice, and the oppressed.
The focus of the evening was Ani’s music. There was no glamour or light show. The show was all about music. Ani is a poet. A feminist. And her music spoke to everyone in attendance. She showed humility and appreciation for everyone who attended. It is really difficult to describe the aura of seeing her live—but a performance I will soon not forget.
Personal favorites of the evening: “Napoleon” and “Not A Pretty Girl”
Orlando-January 15, 2016
“In or Out”
“Coochtown” – Hamell On Trial
Hamell on Trial’s LINKS
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