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Originally published July 21, 2011 at 11:01 AM | Page modified July 21, 2011 at 9:31 PM

Concert review

Indigo Girls take Seattle fans through rollicking, reflective set

The Indigo Girls played Seattle's ZooTunes series on July 20, 2011, basking with their fans in a rare pleasant summer evening.

Seattle Times arts critic

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CONCERT REVIEW | The gods and goddesses of harmony smiled upon Woodland Park Zoo's ZooTunes concert series Wednesday night, granting a rarity this gray summer: a sunny, mild evening for outdoor music.

The Indigo Girls paid them back in kind, with a lovely, at times rollicking acoustic set of songs old and new, entwining two of the most mutually simpatico voices (and guitarists) in folk-pop.

Singer-songwriters Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have been making beguiling music together since high school. That their voices were made for each other was undisputable in a leisurely concert where beaming fans sang along (quietly) with songs many came of age to in the 1980s. These are songs that still seem fresh, as a new wave of folksy-rock harmonizers emerges.

Assisted by violinist Lyris Hung and keyboard/ accordion player Julie Wolf, the duo (beginning a two-night stand) was in supple voice as Ray's compellingly husky alto meshed with Saliers' glimmering higher pipes.

They grazed a generous original repertoire of complicated love songs, personal empowerment arias and adamant anti-war, anti-intolerance and pro-environment odes.

After opening with Saliers' "Least Complicated," a candid take on lost love from their great early disc, "Swamp Ophelia," the pair moved on to such faves as the fiercely rocking "It's Alright" ("Hate me cause I'm different, hate me cause I'm gay/Truth of the matter come around one day so it's alright") and the anthemic "Shame on You," which castigates dogmatic foes of illegal immigration.

They tried out some material (in their usual intelligently folksy vein) from a new disc due out in the fall, "Beauty Queen Sister," and encouraged a singalong on "Let It Be Me," with its upbeat chorus hook: "If the world is night, shine my life like a light."

Another highlight: their signature ballad "The Power of Two," a fetching call to love that perfectly defines the Indigo Girls' alchemical vocal blend and insight into the ways of the heart.

Misha Berson: mberson@seattletimes.com

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