Ani DiFranco – Musical Activism in Brooklyn
Three days after one of the most controversial national elections in America’s history, an animated Ani DiFranco told the crowd at the jam packed Music Hall of Williamsburg that “of course I’m aware that I need to write all new songs, but in the past two days, I didn’t manage to,” which drew a chorus of empathetic cheers. She then continued to immerse attendees in an 18-song set that featured a generous assortment of music from her storied career that spans more than three decades, includes over 20 albums and garnered numerous awards.
She did not shy away from voicing her political views during her high-energy performance, which surprisingly did not evoke the emotional reaction that might have been expected, which is usually the case with high-profile and multi-talented artists.
“Dithering” and “Woe Be Gone,” from her Allergic To Water album, ” Napoleon ” from the Dilate album, “Grave” from Little Plastic Castle, “Alla This” on DiFranco’s Red Letter Year release and “Grey” from Revelling/Reckoning, were among the highlights of her scathing set.
Minneapolis-based roots musician Chasity Brown performed an admirable opening set and joined Ms. Di Franco on “Play God,” a call to action for women’s reproductive rights , as well as on the encores: “When Doves Cry,” a moving tribute to Prince, and “Joyful Girl.” Devotees who were up by the front of the stage knew the lyrics to every song in Di Franco’s performance, one that served to reinforce her place as a cutting edge artist.