Ani Difranco Live at Babeville - Buffalo, New York

Ani Difranco Live at Babeville - Buffalo, New York
I enjoyed reading the liner notes more than watching the contents of this unfortunately uninteresting DVD. The story sounds triumphant: Ani’s label, Righteous Babe, saves a decrepit church that dates back to 1871 from demolition and after six years of rebuilding and reconstructing turn it into a state-of-the-art venue, office for their indie record label and home to a contemporary art centre. The acoustics sound grand, the crowd (made up of mostly females) mingles with the artists on stage; it’s all friends and family here to see acoustic folk/spoken word provocateur Ani DiFranco play Babeville for the first time since its makeover of the century in her hometown. She smiles and laughs while easing the crowd through an extremely long set that touches on most of her releases. The stage set-up doesn’t change shape once. Ani remains with her acoustic and bold vocals, a stand up bass, keyboards and drums for the whole hour, choosing to abandon all of her spoken word catalogue for her abrasive, potent jams. Any Ani fan knows it’s her lyrics that make listening to her a gainful experience, and that you can get on any one of her releases. There’s no visceral moment on this DVD, just a predictable interview for the special features, and no great sigh of expression that made you realise music is great, or why live is good, or really, why you’re watching this. (Righteous Babe)