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Story by Martha Berner
As a part of the Steppenwolf Traffic Jam series this would be the singer-songwriter's first performance at the legendary theater. The stage was donned with Williams' usual accessories - a stool and a few bottles of water. With the lights a soft blue, she took the stage in an elegant ensemble of black, carrying her own Joan Baez Limited Edition 0-45JB acoustic guitar (number 59 of 59). Before going into any of her usual, witty charm, she started the evening with "Calling The Moon" from her 1999 release The Green World. The song was met with enthusiastic applause, and so began what seems to always be the unspoken understanding between Williams and her audience; she sings, tells witty and quirky stories that segue into favorite songs and her fans eat it up, hanging on her every word.
Classic stories led into classic performances of "Spring Street," "Are You Out There, February" and "The Babysitter's Here." Dar also performed her own, acoustic version of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb," which can be found on her latest release My Better Self that also features Ani DiFranco. "Mercy Of The Fallen" and "You'll Be The One Who Knows" from her 2004 release The Beauty Of The Rain were also well received during the 90-minute intimate evening with the thirty-nine year old musician.
There's something about this particular artist's performance that blurs the line between audience and performer. There's still a strong distinction between the two, but somehow you get a sense that the audience feels as much a part of the performance as Williams does. There's a warmth and a nostalgia that seems to settle over the theater as fans get comfortable and beg to hear stories and songs they've heard before, like that favorite bedtime story your grandmother used to tell you just before tucking you in for a good night's sleep.
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