At A Glance: Ani DiFranco

After three hours huddled under clammy tarps to avoid a downpour, God smiled down upon Folk Fest goers. The sky cleared, the sun (almost) came out, and those brave enough to stick out the nasty weather were rewarded during Sunday’s final performance brought to them by the awesomeness that is Ani DiFranco.

Feminist hero, political activist, lesbian icon, talented poet, record label owner and damn good performer, DiFranco wowed die-hard fans and made some new converts with her politically-charged lyrics and solid guitar riffs. Backed by only a stand-up bass and a percussionist who alternated between bongos and vibraphone, DiFranco did what she does best–folked out to thousands of fans chanting “Ani, Ani, Ani!”

The only thing better than DiFranco’s performance was the intense energy of true Ani fans enveloping the stage. Two teenaged girls stood hugging each other as they belted out every word and were moved to tears when Ani played her encore set. A 40-something woman declared, “I’m so happy I could shit,” and a skinny teenaged boy with dark rimmed glasses pretended he didn’t know all the words, all the while swaying to the music and proudly displaying his “Righteous Babe Records” t-shirt.

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