Indigo Girls don’t disappoint their loyal fans

Indigo Girls photo by John Slemp
Indigo Girls photo by John Slemp

State Theater is a great venue for any show

As a music journalist, a lover of great harmonies, and a card-carrying lesbian you KNOW I’ve passionately followed the Indigo Girls throughout my career. The Grammy winning folk-rock duo recently played one of my favorite venues on this side of the Hudson, The State Theatre. The beautifully restored Historic Theatre has great acoustics and comfortable seating. Of course, I didn’t miss this one.

Indigo Girls
Indigo Girls

I’m always so impressed with and somehow proud of the wide popularity of the Indigo Girls… On this night my gaydar was on enough to identify more than a few of my tribe in the audience.  But the hetero contingent was very strong. And it was a wide age group too.

The Indigo Girls continuously sell out shows. They have this broad audience without mainstream radio play, and that is remarkable. I have many straight male friends who absolutely adore these women. Is it a sign of the times? Or is it the undeniable appeal of great harmonies, acoustic guitars and the universal joy of singing along to “Closer To Fine” at the top of your lungs?

Indigo Girls
Indigo Girls

The pair, in their trademark jeans, t-shirts and flannel and cowboy shirts, took the stage after a damn good opener named Amythyst Kiah. Kiah is an alt-country performer with a bluesy voice reminiscent of Tracy Chapman. Indigo Girls kicked off a two hour set with “It’s Alright.” Running through two more hours of favorites, they gave us a tasty new sample “Howl at the Moon,” off their upcoming album.

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The Girls also each performed a solo song from their individual releases. Amy’s song “I Didn’t Know a Damned Thing” was a real highlight. It was enhanced even more by the story of her inspiration for it.

The Indigo Girls were so chill

This diehard crowd showed their devotion throughout the night, shouting out requests and an occasional “I love you AMY!” The Indigo Girls were funny. And they engaged in a relaxed meandering banter between songs. They chatted about the music, guitar tuning and motherhood — something I never thought I’d hear from them 25 years ago. They were so chill. In fact, a few of the songs sounded slowed down.

A real added treat was electric violinist Lyris Hung. Hung regularly plays with the Indigos. Her violin added strength to the harmony and she stepped out for a few really fun riffs. So much fun to watch.

Near the end, they of course played “Galileo.” They left the stage only to be called back for that always anticipated encore. No one was going ANYWHERE until we all got to belt out “Closer to Fine.”

Notable concerts coming to the State Theatre: Joe Jackson, Chicago and the Happy Together Tour (Turtles, Chuck Negron, Buckinghams, Classics IV, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, and the Cowsills)