Sunday, October 21, 2007

Annie Lennox ...

Friday, I was fried.

It was a crazy day, trying to, you know, work, and finish the baking for my friend Cheryl's baby shower (which was today, Saturday, even though the time stamp on this will be Sunday, because it's 2 a.m. and for some insane reason, I can't get to sleep, so I'm blogging in bed), and get to the gym (though Brandon called to cancel our appointment once I was already there and on the treadmill for 15 minutes, which was a nice waste of 45 minutes that could have been spent taking the edge off the craziness), so the last thing I felt like doing as the day wore down was going out. I would have much preferred to sit on the couch or just chuck it all in and go to bed early.

But earlier this year, I got into a bit of a habit of buying concert tickets and then not going to the shows. Annie Lennox certainly wasn't the most expensive ticket I bought this year (that honor goes to The Police) but with the TicketBastard fees, it was a few cents shy of $100, so I went.

It was an outstanding show. One of the best concerts I've ever been to. Even Greg Kot from the Chicago Tribune liked it, and he's a tough nut to crack. (I seem to remember he didn't like U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and that Bono called him and asked him to lunch to discuss the review. Can you imagine getting that call?)

I'd never seen Annie live before, but I adore her voice. Her latest album feels like a hybrid of Diva and Bare, some rollicking tracks (if the keyboards in Love Is Blind and especially Ghosts In My Machine don't get you on your feet, you're probably dead), some plaintive (Fingernail Moon breaks my heart).

She opened with five classics before touching on anything from the new album and she held off on her main mission until the show was almost over. Sing is her call to action to battle the AIDS crisis in Africa, especially for women and children. She left the stage and let a video touch on their stories, then took the stage to sing the song and to momentarily transform the concert into a political rally. She says she feels like humanity is at a pivotal point, and that there is much that each of us can do to affect real change in the world, "even if our votes don't count." That comment brought a lot of applause. Clearly, Annie Lennox fans lean toward the left. She thanked us for indulging her, but that she feels she must speak out.

Though, she insists in interviews, she is not the female version of Bono.

Nor, I suspect, has she ever called Gret Kot.

Annie's opening act was Carina Round. Vocally, she's a staggering talent and a very logical choice, therefore, to open for Annie. She was quirky in her royal purple shirtdress with black kneesocks and high-heeled shoes. She was funny, a little ditzy, which would have been adorable if I hadn't felt like it was shtick. As a performer, I have to liken her to Bjork (with a smidge of Sinead O'Connor). I believe she was meowing one of her songs. Betty, the woman sitting next to me, cracked during one song, "Don't buy the CD just yet." But when it comes to Carina-cum-Bjork, the difference between the two is that I would actually consider buying a Carina Round album. She can make a lot of noise with just an acoustic guitar. And I mean that in a good way. Oh, and she has KT Tunstall "Wee Bastard" pedal situation to loop herself, which she uses to very good effect. If you ever run across an upcoming show, check her out. (Or sample full versions of her songs on her web site.)


Blogger Steve Kells said...

your crazy - point blank

10:53 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I'm sorry, but I don't accept assessments of my sanity from persons who don't know how to use an apostrophe.

11:57 AM  

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