Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall

3.0 1
by Ani DiFranco
     
 

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As her fans know by now, it's never easy to predict what Ani DiFranco will do at any given show. She's capable of radiating great joy, generating resounding fury, and touching the raw emotional nerves that reside beneath the surface of her listeners -- whether they know it or not. At this show, recorded at the legendary New York venue at a point when visions of 9/11

Overview

As her fans know by now, it's never easy to predict what Ani DiFranco will do at any given show. She's capable of radiating great joy, generating resounding fury, and touching the raw emotional nerves that reside beneath the surface of her listeners -- whether they know it or not. At this show, recorded at the legendary New York venue at a point when visions of 9/11 were still fresh, DiFranco called upon all the aforementioned facets to cast a hush over a packed house that was hanging on her every word. That's particularly evident in the spoken-word pieces that pepper the set, particularly a version of "Self-Evident" -- which DiFranco herself has described as "one of the most intense moments I have experienced on stage" -- that can still raise goose bumps, even four years after it was committed to tape. While DiFranco hasn't been shy about releasing live albums -- this is her third -- the Carnegie Hall set is by far the most intimate, and not just because the show was a solo acoustic performance. The degree to which she and her audience are on the same page is palpable in both DiFranco's riveting statements of purpose (like the defiant-yet-warm "Angry Anymore") and her more downbeat introspections (like the raw version of "Educated Guess" presented here). But even in the worst of times -- and this show comes from one of those -- DiFranco exudes enough compassion and affability to make her listeners feel like they're in the presence of an old friend.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Listening to Ani DiFranco live has always been an intimate experience, a chance for her to mingle and share with the faithful, and when she's solo, as she is on Carnegie Hall, this is even more the case. Just a righteous babe, her guitar, and a handful of songs in a sea of DiFranco fanatics. This makes Carnegie Hall a noted and welcome departure from other live efforts (there's no driving rhythm section or rock intensity), and if the overall results are less intense, the intimacy more than makes up for it. There's also time for in-between song chatter and poems ("Not So Soft"), and a chance to revisit, and offer a new sheen to, old work. Certain songs, like the mellow "Angry Any," actually work better in this format, while the acoustic guitar work on "Out of Range" reminds one of the original's concentrated passion. It probably means a lot to fans that as DiFranco's music continues to evolve, she can still happily immerse herself in older songs like the powerful "2 Lil Girls." For non-fans, the DiFranco experience, whether her recordings are live or from the studio, can be insular and off-putting at times. The intimacy of the connection between DiFranco and her fans, along with the singularity of her vision precludes a certain exclusiveness. Carnegie Hall is nonetheless a very accessible album that presents the DiFranco experience in a softer light without sacrificing any of the fundamentals.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/04/2006
Label:
Righteous Babe
UPC:
0748731705121
catalogNumber:
51
Rank:
213477

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Carnegie Hall 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a die-hard Ani fan, and owning all of these bootlegs, I have to say that they are two things: monumental and repetitive. Unfortunately, there are too much talking in many of them (which is grand at the concert but something I think could have been edited out), and she seems to play some tracks, like "Educated Guess" over and over again. ("Gravel" and "Phase" are no exception.) Whereas there are some faults in the setlist and noise in general, there are more excellent moments on these records than bad. "In the Way" and "Out of Range" in particular. But, if I were you, I'd go with Rome or Sacremento. Carnegie Hall wasn't what I expected it to be.