Home > Concert Photos, Indie Rock, Singer-Songwriter > REVIEW: Ani DiFranco @ McDonald Theatre (Eugene, OR – 10/21/09)

REVIEW: Ani DiFranco @ McDonald Theatre (Eugene, OR – 10/21/09)

22nd Oct 09 (Thu) Leave a comment Go to comments

Ani DiFranco is one of my favorite artists.  The fact that she’s as prolific as an apple slicer at a pie factory doesn’t hurt my need for new music from her.  I’ve posted many times before the “stats” behind her release schedule (it is both ridiculous in her velocity and my tracking of said velocity).   This last span of time between 2008’s excellent Red Letter Year and, well… no new album is quite uncharacteristic of her.  Based on the amount of new songs in the setlist, I expect a new album is right around the corner.

For this recent tour, I got to the venue a little late, as I had to drive in from Portland (I’d been up in Seattle on Mon & Tues for work, and Portland on Wednesday).  I couldn’t miss Ani, though.  No photos this time around, as cameras weren’t allowed in the venue.  I did snap one via my iPhone (below).

Opener Anais Mitchell was good.  She seemed kind of shy, but also playful.  While I don’t think her sound really set herself apart from the many singer-songwriters out there; she just completed a folk-opera, Hadestown, based on the myth of Hades and Eurydice.  Ani appears on it, and it’ll be out on Righteous Babe, I’m sure.

(the sole crappy iPhone shot of the night)

Ani and her band came on around 9pm.  Her band this time was Andy Barger on drums, Mike Dillon on percussion (who I’ve seen play with Skerik & the Dead Kenny G’s), Todd Sickafoose on contrabass (who I’ve seen many times with Ani).  They started out with, as acknowledged by Ani, a very schizophrenic set of songs.

Setlist: just shy of 90 minutes

  • Fuel *a fave of the night*
  • Paradigm
  • Manhole
  • Modulation
  • Swan Dive *a fave of the night*
  • Red Letter Year
  • Coming Up
  • November 5th, 2008 (new songformerly known as “November 4free live download)
  • Albacore (new song)
  • Unworry (new song) *a fave of the night*
  • Way Tight
  • God’s Country
  • Napoleon
  • Splinter (new song) *a fave of the night*
  • Which Side Are You On? (new song30’s tune by Florence Reese, reworked by Ani – free live download)
  • Mariachi (new song)
  • Both Hands *a fave of the night*
  • Encore: Little Plastic Castle *a fave of the night*
  • Barroom Girls (Gillian Welch cover with Anais Mitchell and Animal Prufrock)

Thanks for the setlist corrections, francoapple.

A great show, followed by a drive back up to Portland for work.  I think of the new songs, “Splinter” is my favorite – – followed by “Unworry” (with a great chorus “facts are pretend anyway” ).  Both of those songs are a bit more poetic than the rest.  I had “November 5th” from a free download back last fall, and while I like Obama and was happy on November 5th, the song seems kind of cheesy.  Same thing goes for “Which Side Are You On?”  It’s available for free via the link in the setlist above (note: there may be a limited opportunity for the download).  While I agree with its premise/lyrics, I think Ani’s done better, more poetic political songs.

Oh well, I guess with her output, there’s bound to be some songs I don’t like as much.  But all in all, a great show.  It was good to see her with a band, as usual.  Maybe next time, with Mike Dillon’s influence, she’ll bring Skerik along for some horns. :)

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: Erik FriedlanderGrains of Paradise

Ani DiFranco Fall 2009 Tour Dates

  • Sep 11 2009 – Kalamazoo State Theatre – Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Sep 12 2009 – Krannert Center Guitar Festival – Urbana, Illinois
  • Sep 13 2009 – Paramount Theatre – Aurora, Illinois
  • Sep 15 2009 – Mayo Civic Center-Presentation Hall – Rochester, Minnesota
  • Sep 16 2009 – DECC Auditorium – Duluth, Minnesota
  • Sep 18 2009 – Fargo Theatre – Fargo, North Dakota
  • Sep 19 2009 – Burton Cummings Theatre – Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Sep 20 2009 – First Avenue – Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Sep 22 2009 – Riverside Ballroom – Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Sep 23 2009 – The Vic Theatre – Chicago, Illinois
  • Sep 25 2009 – Michigan Theater – Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Oct 10 2009 – Lobero Theatre – Santa Barbara, California
  • Oct 11 2009 – Grove of Anaheim – Anaheim, California
  • Oct 13 2009 – Rio Theatre – Santa Cruz, California
  • Oct 14 2009 – Tower Theatre – Fresno, California
  • Oct 20 2009 – Arcata Community Center – Arcata, California
  • Oct 21 2009 – McDonald Theatre – Eugene, Oregon
  • Oct 23 2009 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, Oregon
  • Oct 24 2009 – Moore Theatre – Seattle, Washington
  • Oct 25 2009 – PAC Concert Hall – Bellingham, Washington
  • Oct 27 2009 – Centre for the Performing Arts – Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Oct 28 2009 – Royal Theatre – Victoria, British Columbia
  • Nov 13 2009 – State Theatre – Ithaca, New York
  • Nov 14 2009 – Zeiterion Performing Arts Center – New Bedford, MA
  • Nov 15 2009 – Calvin Theatre – Northampton, Massachusetts
  • Nov 17 2009 – The Egg – Albany, New York
  • Nov 18 2009 – Ridgefield Playhouse – Ridgefield, Connecticut
  • Nov 20 2009 – Electric Factory – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Nov 21 2009 – The Town Hall – New York, New York
  1. 23rd Oct 09 (Fri) at 9:59 am

    Thanks for the review and setlist (is it in right order?)

    The names of the new songs you’re missing are:

    -November 5th, 2008 (she changed the name)
    -Albacore (Wedding Song)
    -Unworry (Facts Are Pretend)
    -Mariachi (If It Was Just Me)…my favorite of the new songs so far

    did you know Skerik joined her for a couple of songs (Overlap and Fuel) at the High Sierra Music Festival ’09?

    thanks again.

    • 23rd Oct 09 (Fri) at 4:19 pm

      Thanks, and yeah, in correct order… I was typing it into my iPhone “notes” section as she played…

      I’ll adjust tracknames!

    • 23rd Oct 09 (Fri) at 4:19 pm

      Sweet re: Skerik, too :)

  1. 14th Apr 11 (Thu) at 9:45 am

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