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Indigo Girls sing gloriously about life and love

Indigo Girls sing about life

INDIGO GIRLS

Dec. 10 at the Orpheum Theatre.

By DAVID ZAPOL

THE INDIGO GIRLS have been playing together since high school, and their intertwining musicalities reflect the years of unity. Their inspirational lyrics and intense, invigorating music have come to the attention of the widespread college community, and have risen to great popularity within the last two years.

Their honest, down-to-earth unpretentiousness glowed in the press conference the day of their concert last December. Some press official came in and told us anxiously that they would come in, talk to us, do some signing and get out. They walked in, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, sat on a couch and said, "A press conference, huh?" and we all laughed together.

They joked with us for a good hour about their music, their childhood in Atlanta, GA, our cold weather, and their good fortune and success. Someone from the back of the room yelled, "The New York Times says you take yourselves too seriously." We all laughed for quite a while, though I laughed somewhat nervously, remembering their lyrics, "I am intense, I am in need, I am in love, and I feel forsaken." But finally, when they had caught their breaths, they smiled, and Emily said, "The New York Times. . . ." We laughed freely.

The Indigo Girls emanated a comfortable, relaxed air; they argued with each other, whispered that the only place they couldn't stand to play was Austin; they had us pull our chairs into a circle around them, and we all talked; it wasn't an interrogation. It was like their concert that night: They took away the separation between themselves and the audience. It was wonderful. They listened to the screams and squawks of the audience, just as they had for the press.

They played with their guitars, their voices, and a bassist, Sarah Lee, who added a tremendous kick to the music. They truly played; they had a good time, thanking the audience for listening to them enjoy themselves. Their sounds gloriously filled the Orpheum -- which is a beautiful hall, and deserves such fine musicians. They had cutouts of the sun, leaves, moons, seas -- earthy images like block-print greeting cards projected yellow on the blue curtains behind them. The peaceful harmony of their visual images with the fidelity of their voices created an aesthetic delight that the audience clearly adored.

Amy's raw voice and Emily's sweeter tones mixed and complemented each other beautifully. Their songwriting reflects that they have very different styles, but both deal with a common thread. They speculated on the appeal of their music, saying that the mail they have read and the people they have talked to all say the same thing. There is hope in their music.

"We're going to do a song about life now."

The audience screamed. We were all there, and somehow the fact that we were all focused on these performers -- no -- on these people, brought us all together. Live music is always intense, seeing people creating, while 2000 other people look on can't help but be exciting, but here there was more: two women, excited about life, effusing the audience with a tremendous feeling of . . . of hope.