Mama and I have seen the Girls in concert 6 or so times together:
- Suffragette Sessions (but so few IG songs), Aug. 1998
- Chicago Theater, Dec. 1999
- Ravinia, June 2000
- Honor the Earth concert, Oct. 2000
- Radio City (this date, perhaps), June 2002
- Ridgefield (link to set list here), July 2008
- plus Mama saw them at Earth Jam and Radio City Music Hall (April and June 1994)
The Indigo Girls provide the soundtrack of our romance, from early mix tapes with "Love Will Come to You" and those first concerts, always the songs on the tape player then CD player then MP3 player now Sonos wifi. We've been listening for roughly twenty years (Mama more, me a bit less.) Mama knows the lyrics; I don't as much, but I will make them up, and I can never name a song until its chorus. There are lines in several of their songs that always make us stop and look at each other in that special way, hold hands, kiss, chuckle--"beautiful women walk on by; you know I never know what to say" from "Shame on You," "I took you for better and took you for worse; don't you ever forget it" from "Power of Two," and "Every lesson learned a line on your beautiful face" from "Get Out the Map," to name a few (I bet I didn't get all of those lyrics correct, either.) So many memories wrapped up in their music. And we have just begun sharing the songs with the kiddos.
We would have laughed had you told us back at one of those early concerts that we'd be taking our own kids to an IG show. In fact, we tried to do it about a year and a half ago, only to realize we were going to be in England! So when tickets came available for this show, we got four. And we started to play the music everyday to familiarize them with more of the IG repertoire. Sis liked "Galileo" and Bud liked "Get out the Map."
With the show starting at 8 and the Girls not going on until 9, we waited til after rush hour to head to the city, listening to the music all the way. The kids are more used to Broadway and so couldn't understand why we arrived late (really, on time) and skipped the opening band. We had told them they could sing, dance, even talk, that people would drink and move about, nothing like Broadway.
Then there they were, Amy on our left and Emily on our right, playing our favorite "Get Out the Map." What a fantastic show it was! So many of our favorites-- (I'll drop the quotes for simplicity) Get Out the Map, Power of Two, Shame on You, Go, Love Will Come to You, Galileo, Oziline, and of course Closer to Fine, plus Mama loves Land of Canaan--and several of the new songs. The kids clapped and sang along and swayed to the music, but also closed their eyes "just to rest" part way through during some of the slow songs. Mama and I gave that look and, several times, I got all teary. I felt so young again, but also in a time warp with two ten-year-old kids with us.
It was fun to explain aspects of their concerts to the kids--how they always stand on the same side of the stage, how they switched guitars every song, how Sully was the one who had been tuning their guitars for decades, how they always encouraged new or young talent and frequently brought them and other friends on stage for a song (often "Closer to Fine"), how they often had the audience sing parts of their songs, how we think they never sing out the "F" word in "Shame on You," how Amy doesn't usually sing the line about "it's only life after all," even how my friend Miss M once sat with them on the curb after a concert at our university some 25+ years ago. And now, in the age of FB, how they put their set lists on line:
The concert ended with the usual encore of "Closer to Fine" and we were all up out of our seats singing, the kids getting their second wind. We left the theater singing and sang halfway home, until they fell asleep in the back. Mama and I shared all sorts of old memories--of concerts, of lyrics, of times we listened to their music (on any car trip in the late 1990s, especially from Chicago to NYC in 2001.) We hummed their songs all weekend in Block Island. If they didn't have uniforms, we would've gotten the kids concert t-shirts to wear just like we would have as teens on the day after. It's a sure beginning to their own great memories of the Indigo Girls, second-generation fans who are starting their own personal soundtracks.