The Indigo Girls Groove in the Garden
Last Thursday, the Indigo Girls made a stop at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens as part of Groovin’ in the Garden. Promoting their new album, Poseidon and the Bitter Bug, the Girls gave a great acoustic show, with instrumental backup of keyboards and accordion from Julie Wolf. This is the 15th album to date for the Atlanta duo, who have been playing music together for almost 30 years. They have a die-hard fan following and have been political and social activists for many causes, including GLBT equality, the right of a woman’s reproductive choice, and Indian Reservation Preservation, just to name a few. For more information on the Indigo Girls, check out their site at .
Also seen at the show were the Central Virginia Food Bank and Richmond SPCA – both local organizations were present with tables, accepting food and monetary donations and spreading their message to the fans that passed along. Amnesty International was also present to educate people on their organization, missions, and goals for a better world. Each Indigo Girls stop on this tour is helping local food banks, so if you do see them again this summer, bring non-perishable food to help out others in need.
The new album, Poseidon and the Bitter Bug, is a dual disc collection. Disc one being the songs with more of a studio feel – complete with a full band. The second disc is more intimate, consisting of the songs in acoustic versions. The last few albums have seemed quite polished with an attempt to sound more mainstream. With this album, the Girls have began a journey back to their roots. The album showcases both Amy Ray and Emily Sailers’ growth in lyrics and songwriting. I prefer the second disc, because there is nothing more powerful than hearing Amy and Emily sing their hearts out without being drowned out by drums and bass.
The concert was a good selection of old hits, new tunes, and the expected singalongs. An Indigo Girls show just isn’t the same with being able to sing “Power of Two”, “Galileo”, and “Closer to Fine”. After talking to quite a few people who attended the show, the common thought was this concert lacked a lot of the typical energy you feel at an Indigo Girls show. I have seen them in Detroit, Chicago, Columbus, and Toledo, and the typical feel is one of your old friends coming together to jam, sing and dance. This concert was very: song, thank you, clap, song, repeat. Even the Girls themselves were less chatty than usual, just introducing the next song and ending with their trademark, “Thanks Ya’ll”. But even with the more sedate crowd, the music was still wonderful among the roses and beautiful sights of Lewis Ginter.
Opening act Matt Nathanson did a great job and had a very large fan following present. Performing songs from his new album, Some Mad Hope, he did an exceptional job of entertaining the crowd with music, humor and getting audience participation to sing along. Nathanson’s music has been featured on many television shows and his cover of “Laid” was the opening and closing tune for the movie American Wedding. In a way, it was like being at two different shows because of the energy the crowd gave Nathanson compared to the the response the Indigo Girls received and maintained. Later on, Nathanson came back onstage to assist the Amy and Emily with vocals during their set on songs, “Kid Fears” and “Closer to Fine”.
Overall the show was a good one. It was a mixing bowl of Richmond’s various communities. From young kids with their parents to college frat boys and older couples to your lesbian hipsters. It was nice to look out into that crowd and see the diversity – if only more people would have gotten up and danced!
The Richmond Outsider is a contributing writing for GayRVA, you can read more thoughts on life from the Outsider’s point of view at www.therichmondoutsider.com.
Amy Ray talks new Indigo Girls album, going digital, and being a new mom ahead of 6/21 Charlottesville show
“A lot of life has happened, and a lot of the songs for me had been written over a big span of time.”June 17, 2015
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