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October 26, 2009

Concert Review: Indigo Girls (Shepherds Bush Empire)

I suspect I may get some hate mail for this one... hey ho.

First off, I'm going to accentuate the positive: The Girls are fantastic singer-songwriters. Their back catalogue has so many amazingly crafted and executed songs in it. They manage to capture so many emotions in their lyrics that, often, I'm moved when I listen to them.

Even the occasional lack-lustre tune is so wonderfully harmonized that the interwoven lyrics knock the song out of the ballpark.

I love their music. I really do. I think they're under-rated, often overlooked musical geniuses.

Okay, so now here's where I'm going to get into trouble. Please be gentle. I'm just telling it the way I saw it!

Last night I experienced the Indigo's perform live for the first time. The line up was just the two of them on acoustics and, occasionally, a smattering of keys or accordian was thrown in from stage right.

As you would expect, the music was perfect. The interlacing of voices and guitar parts was right on. So much so, that if you closed your eyes you could almost imagine you were listening to the record.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

Their recorded music is perfect. So much so, that when playing live last night, what they were doing was recreating something I already knew off by heart. Don't get me wrong, the crowd loved it, so much so that they sang along perfectly to many of the classics. I enjoyed watching and listening but rather than feeling like I was at a concert, I felt that I was part of a celebration of the music.

Does that make sense? It's not really a negative as such. The music was great... as it's always been. With the exception of "Chicken Man" (which totally rocked), I felt like I'd heard it all before, note for note. For me, there wasn't really anything new added to the mix.

I guess when I go to a concert I want to be given an experience that I'd only be able to recapture through imagination and memory. As wonderful as the songs were last night, I couldn't help but feel that if I went to the next show I'd be treated to another note for note recital.

I know, I know... I'm a bad man. C'mon, though, I've dissed a Derek Trucks Band concert before, based on the fact that the acoustics in the venue sucked!

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