The announcement makes members of the audience giggle, as if they know the girls well and find this fact quirky and humorous.
Danielle HowleThe opening act this evening is South Carolina singer/songwriter Danielle Howle, whose work is more than likely news to most of this crowd. The heat has thrown her acoustic guitar out of tune right off the bat, and a couple of people behind us start to heckle. Danielle tries tuning the instrument before handing it off to the guitar tech and jumping, instead, into an a cappella number "Why You Worry."
She sings so hard, her face turns bright reddish purple; and by the time the song is over, the hecklers have been won. Wow, they say, nice recovery.
After playing Woman to Win from her latest album Thank You, Mark, she introduces herself and her backup player (Ryan Monroe) to the crowd. We are the South Carolina exhibit here today at the zoo, she says, and the audience laughs with her.
Howles most shining moments come with Oh Swear and the touching lament Fields of Cotton, wherein she appears to be transported, for the length of the song, to the cotton fields of South Carolina and a scene that is nostalgic, heart-breaking, and raw.
For her final song, Howle chooses Jesus Wont Wait a gospel tune so sweet, the crowd can't help but clap along. She just keeps on singing, pulling out her somewhat spastic dance moves, and scatting herself back into red-face.
The Indigo GirlsAfter Howle's well-received set, the Indigo Girls walk out to the enthusiastic applause of a sold-out crowd. Amy Ray immediately apologizes for the fact that both of them are wearing sunglasses, and they soon embark on an hour-and-a-half-long set that includes plenty of classic hits, as well as several selections from their forthcoming album, due out in September.
They start out with their signature tune, "Closer to Fine." At other shows, this one is an instant sing-along, with the Girls stopping at several intervals to let the crowd take it away. Tonight, however, it seems to be taking the audience a little longer to get started.
The girls are pros, though, and don't let it drag down the great energy of their performance. They follow that with "It's Alright," "Heartache For Everyone," and the crowd favorite "The Power of Two."
When Amy announces they have a new record coming out in September, the crowd finally wakes up with hoots, hollers, and declarations of love from every direction. The crowd moves into even more appreciation when local star Brandi Carlile walks onstage with her fabulous Taylor guitar. For a moment, youd almost believe they're more excited about Brandi than they are about the Indigo Girls.
Surprise! It's Brandi CarlileCarlile greets the crowd, So. This is a pretty big moment for me, huh? This is my first Indigo Girls show [in Seattle] not sitting out there with you guys. The crowd loves Brandi, and those who werent already sold on her, are by the time shes finished singing her version of Leonard Cohens Hallelujah.
After Brandis moment of fame, the girls return for more of their own songs. Then, after a few moments, Brandi is back in mid-song to join the harmonies for Kid Fears.
This is followed by Get Out the Map, which finally moves people to their feet.
HighlightsThrough the course of their show, the Girls blend their classic hits with some truly compelling new material. It can be awkward when artists with tried and true hits bring out their unknown songs, but the Indigo Girls are such prolific and skilled writers, their fans are happy to hear it all.
Both Ray and Saliers have been at this for many years, and their showmanship and onstage personalities are electric, even if their instruments are not.
Dry wordplay aside, it would be hard to beat a performance that includes that much of Howle, Carlile, and the Indigo Girls. The evening was full of surprises, and it was good to see proof that the Girls are still writing great material. No doubt their fans will be thrilled in September when their new record comes out.