By the light of cell phones

Pardon the near miss on the vernacular, but I could not fracking believe the seats I had for the Dar Williams concert last night. Ninth row from the front, just off the left aisle of center, and the people who were supposed to sit in front of me never showed up! I have never been closer to the front of any performance, and never gotten so good a view. The show was acoustic, with Dar on guitar and nobody backing her up, so there were no blasting speakers to deal with, making the seats better yet. I’d seen her do a couple of songs at a bookstore signing that way, but never a full concert.

Some of the songs she sang, in no particular order:

Opening Song: The Babysitter’s Here
When I Was a Boy
Iowa (always a popular one with the audience, though I am forced to admit it may be the least favorite of her songs in my own person discography ratings)
The Christians and the Pagans
Are you out there?
The Mercy of the Fallen
Fishing in the Morning
Encore Song: We Learned the Sea

She did a brief intro before most of the songs, and also did a fair amount of bantering with the audience. She asked for requests at one point (that’s when she sang Iowa, although I was personally rooting for the woman who called out “A Flinty Kind of Woman” to win out).

The most humorous part of the concert for me came when Dar spoke somewhat wistfully of the times people would hold up lit lighters after she’d sang. She noted that as the times have gotten healthier, and people stopped smoking and using incense, the lighters vanished one by one. She went on to observe that after a little more time elapsed, the lights again started to reappear at concerts. It took me a moment to realize what she was talking about until a few people in the audience took out their cell phones and held them high. As more and more of us in the crowd caught on, we all started lifting our cell phones, amidst a good deal of chuckling. I don’t think I’ve lifted a lighter since an Al Stewart concert I attended in the seventies (lighter purchased specially for the occaision).

Dar’s a new mother, and she said last night that she’s planning on hibernating for the remainder of the winder, not coming out until March. By then it will have been two years since her last album. I’m hoping that with her emergence from hibernation will come work on a new release.

Katie Curtis opened for Dar. I’d heard some of her music previously on a local radio station, but I didn’t realize what a strong performer she was. If she ever appears on a solo bill around here, I’d be interested in attending.

The Socialist attended with me, and didn’t seem to squirm too much in his seat, so I’m assuming he didn’t have a totally miserable time. Afterwards we came home and watched Star Wars Episode I, which I broke down an bought finally as an early Christmas gift for him. We’d recently watched Episode II again, and of course we’d seen the trailer for Episode III that’s just been released. Episode III looks particularly promising, so I’m in more of a mood to excuse the “yippees” and other Anikinisms from Episode I. I’m still unwilling to forgive Jar Jar, however.

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  1. In Episode I, I personally hated Jar Jar, but my youngest was little and Darth Maul scared him. Jar Jar on the other hand gave him something to like and have fun with(he was 5 at the time), so I was more forgiving of Jar Jar than most people were!

    George Lucas was a parent when he made these recent movies, and his youngest was not that much older than my youngest. I can’t help but wonder if he made Jar Jar that way so his own kids would have something not-so-scarey to watch during the movie.


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