I have already rambled on and on about my love/hate relationship with Los Angeles. However, I am pleased to report that my most recent excursion to the City of Angels was beyond-words amazing! The fact that I went with my girlfriend to an Ani DiFranco concert might account for that though. I have been a huge fan of Ani Difranco’s for years because of having danced to her music educationally and professionally. My girlfriend has more recently been introduced to the life-changing lyrics and beats of this incredible musician and is as obsessed with her as I am. For years I had been checking Ani’s website for tour dates and finally got to see her last year in Grass Valley. Initially experiencing Ani DiFranco live was amazing- I even camped out afterward to try and meet her. 30 degrees and three hours later, I had counted all of the rivets on Ani’s tour bus outside the concert venue and ended up getting her autograph and handshake. With these incredible memories in my head, I was elated to discover that she would again be touring the West Coast. This time, Los Angeles would be the city of choice for this fateful experience! I was determined to be responsible for my girlfriend losing her Ani virginity!
We hit the road from San Diego and got to L.A. with enough time to freshen up before the show. The concert was held at the Orpheum Theater in Downtown Los Angeles, which was absolutely the perfect venue for her kind of show. The theater itself is relatively small and intimate, with beautiful art-deco style lobby decorations and design. It was great to see a show in this sort of in-door theater because we were able to be sitting down for most of it- although there were plenty of people dancing in the aisles! For the record, middle-aged drunk Los Angeles women boogying down in the aisles: you make better doors than windows! And let me tell you, there were more lesbians here than at a Pride festival. Every single stereotype of lesbian was represented; I like to think my girlfriend and I fulfill the “hot young lesbian couple” stereotype. It was definitely refreshing to get to be around so many loud and proud women in such a vibrant queer city.
Ani Difranco is hands down the most incredible musician I have ever listened to or seen, live and otherwise. Her show at the Orpheum for this most recent West Coast tour of hers was jaw-droppingly great. Every song she played with full throttle energy and passion; she is a pretty tiny person but she truly fills up the stage with incredible presence. Most of the songs she played were oldies, like “Gravel”, “Untouchable Face”, “Both Hands”, and “Swandive”. It was just Ani and her drummer up on stage, which made for a simple yet rich live performance experience.
After the concert ended, my girlfriend and I were walking on air. Before we even got out the doors of the theater, I practically ran into Claire Moseley from The Real ‘L’ Word… Such a lesbian experience! I never come across famous people so to stumble upon such a prominent gay celebrity (okay, so she is just on reality TV… whatever!) was especially thrilling. Needless to say, it was the icing on the cake of this L.A. lesbian festivity. To continue the tradition, my girlfriend and I staked out the building to try and find where Ani would be leaving to walk to her tour bus. We found the side entrance and again camped out with our memorabilia to have her sign. Unfortunately she slipped through the cracks and we missed her, much to our disappointment. We went on our merry way regardless, full of the elation only brought to crazed Ani fans. This was a once in a lifetime experience that I will always cherish. Viva Ani DiFranco!