As far as I can recall, I've always loved music. Somewhere there is a photo of me singing Christmas carols into a play microphone when I was a toddler. I loved singing the hymns in church. I loved sitting on my bed with friends, singing along to records using the lyrics printed on the paper sleeve. Some of my favorite memories involve guitars and campfires.
I love music deeply, and I love to sing, although I am NOT a performer. I see that same love of music in my daughter. She pays attention to lyrics and artists and plays music she loves over and over again.
I can pinpoint a couple of times when I discovered a new (new to me) musician or type of music and it marked a significant shift or mirrored some transition taking place in my life. Far and away the most powerful of these discoveries for me was stumbling upon the music of Dar Williams.
It happened my sophomore year of college and I can think of my musical taste and experiences as before Dar Williams or after Dar Williams...
The first time I saw her play live was on a side stage at Lilith Fair in Milwaukee, in 1997. Somewhere I still have an autograph from meeting her briefly after her set, when I could barely speak because I was so in awe.
In the fall of 1997 a group of us from my college drove the five and a half hours to see Dar Williams play in Chicago. Someone from the tour crew met us on the sidewalk, learned how far we'd come, and brought Dar out to meet us before the show. Again - awe.
I came home and typed up the set list from that show...
We also got to say hi during a little meet-and-greet afterwards, as she always used to sit and meet the fans and sign CDs, etc. Here's a picture of Dar and I:
This picture really cracks me up, now. I was so excited! Also? I was a baby. Lord, I was not even 21 years old...
The reason I bring this up now is to illustrate that I have been a fan for a long time. I am hugely excited because tonight, for the first time in five years, I get to see Dar Williams play live again.
I'm especially excited because a dear friend is going with me to the concert. I am fairly certain it is her first time seeing Dar Williams perform live. Going to a show with someone who is seeing an artist for the first time is almost as thrilling as seeing the artist for the first time myself. It will be a good night.
It will also require a lot of caffeine - we have to drive about an hour to get there and things won't even start until 8... late night for us! (Worth it though, I guarantee it.)