La Diva graced us with her presence last night at the State Theater in downtown Minneapolis. I should know; I was right there… front row 2nd balcony.
The show, in short, was bloody fantastic! So was Annie’s opening act– a cute British bird named Carina Round. She played an solo accoustic set with guitar and was like a blend of the Cranberries, The Sundays, The Indigo Girls, and Sinead O’Connor. Or in short- a fresher K.T. Tunstall.
As for Ms. Lennox, on the Diva Scale, I have to give her an 8. I simply had to take off points because the bitch can NOT dance. When she wasn’t doing robotic Evita arms, she mostly looked like a krumping epileptic. Be that as it may, what she CAN do is sing. AND play the piano. And COMMAND a space.
Here’s a pic of the space:
Not too big, not too small- overall a nice, pretty theater for her to perform in. It was packed with mostly thirty-somethings… and extremely gay-heavy. Our seats were good, although for one of the very few times in my life, I found myself very envious of the front row people– wishing I was down there too actually witnessing the “performance”.
In case you were wondering, here’s a list of her set (thank Buddha for the notes feature on the iPhone):
Intro (The snow is dancing- Claude Debussy)
No More “I Love You’s”
Walking on Broken Glass
Here Comes the Rain Again (self accompanyment on the piano)
1000 Beautiful Things (self accompanyment on the piano)
Sisters are Doin’ It for Themselves (self accompanyment on the piano)
There Must Be an Angel (funky version)
Ghost in my Machine
When the Morning Comes
Thorn In My Side
Sweet Dreams (edgy rock version)
This is just a random shot of Annie– I think this particular one was taken during the song “Cold”– which was peformed VERY well, and was the one song that Tim wanted to hear above all others. I’m very happy he got his wish (seeing as how he got me the ticket).
I really REALLY enjoyed seeing her in concert. I’m not a huge concert-goer really; it always seems like a ton of money to spend to have overly amplified sound blasted at you. But I’m very glad I opted to see this one. I loved the semi-intimate venue and the sparse, no-nonsense staging.
Her self-accompanying on the piano for the three songs in the middle of the show was a great showcase moment. It was very much a mini-cabaret with her chatting up the audience a bit. She also had fun with the songs like slowing down “Here Comes the Rain Again” and turned it into a proper, heartfelt ballad. And for “Sisters” she got funky on the keyboard and even finished off by playing the final note with her foot.
During “There Must Be an Angel” (my most disliked of all her songs) she started off very slow and cheeky with it, and then built it into an extremely funky version. (LOVED it, and I’m still huming it today!) She also rocked the fuck out of Sweet Dreams and gave it a new edge which was very fresh. I LOVE it when musicians take their staples and play with them a bit to make them a touch new and different for the audience!
Perhaps my favourite moment came during the song “Pavement Cracks”. I was never overly fond of this song when it came out- but the way she performed it onstage was nothing short of awesome. A slower intro- very soulful, and then a LOT of blues and “diva-ing” during the number. However the BEST part was at the end as the keyboards were holding a sort of drone chord and she snapped on the heavy reverb effect and started riffing with the echo of herself. She was creating these edgy jazz chords that just knocked me on my ear and chilled my spine. Here’s a picture of the end of that moment:
I’m so glad the pic is halfway decent. I think this sort of captures the true Diva moment of the show.
I will be purchasing her new album this weekend. I will be making a playlist of Annie in iTunes (quite possibly mirroring the show). And I WILL be breaking out the “Diva” CD for my car. I had forgotten how truly wonderful it is.