Artist: Ani DiFranco
Date: June 3, 1999
Opening Act: Maceo Parker
Venue: Midway Stadium
City: St. Paul, MN
Review by [Amy Lotsberg] Producer of Collected Sounds
Well, it was a freaking hot day in Minnesota. If you ask me, this heat is ten times worse then our cold winters! If it had been any other performer I may not have stayed through the whole thing. But Ani rocks my socks! This is the 4th time I had seen her live and I swear this woman gets better every time!
Master of Funk Maceo (may’-see-oh) Parker opened for her. He and his band were great! We giggled at a couple of hippie-chicks that were dancing to the tunes. Then Ani came on. I had never seen her outdoors before and what a treat!
We were able to scootch our way pretty close up. Keyboardist Julie Wolf was absolutely stylin in her silver lame pants and cowboy hat. The music wouldn’t be the same without her awesome “wuka wuka” thang.
They opened with “Virtue” which is my current VERY favorite Ani tune. Greg Boyer from Maceo Parker’s group played trumpet on a few numbers and that really added a great touch.
During the first verse of “Shy” she broke a string then said, “Who ever said that a folk song had to have an acoustic guitar?” She appeared a little flustered and had one of her famous “Ani brain farts” and spaced on the lyrics but covered nicely when she said, “It does have to have a second verse though, and as soon as I remember it, I’m gonna sing it!” She did, but I think the audience helped her out!
During “Anticipate” (which I must say is the coolest version I ever did hear) the humidity was getting to her and she remarked, “It’s really hot here! I’m thinkin that Minnesota is like Florida to me.”
She sang a new song called, “To The Teeth” which is the title track of her new CD. Released November 18th, 1999.
Maceo’s son, Cory Parker joined her and rapped a song called “Sway” about how folk and rap can be as one and races can too. Very cool.
She brought out the bongos for a powerful rendition of “Not So Soft”.
For the encore Maceo Parker came out with his sax and they performed “When You Were Mine” by Symbolina or whatever he is calling himself nowadays. Ani said it was a tune written by “by a local guy”. Word has it that he appears on the new CD as well.
The people-watching was stellar! I saw my first (and I hope last) 9 year old pregnant lesbian! OK maybe she was 13, maybe…
It was fabulous, Ani rocked but I was very glad to get to the air-conditioned car.