For a crowd of fans young and old, Jesca Hoop and Ani DiFranco brought their unique folk styles to a sold-out Washington’s on Feb. 8.
Her first time performing in Fort Collins, Hoop opened for DiFranco to a crowded Washington’s venue. Hoop stuck to her most recent work such as “Shoulder Charge” from her most recent album, “STONECHILD.” Her song choice displayed her signature dreamy, dark aesthetic that has made her prominent among her contemporaries.
It was really great to see Ani (DiFranco). I felt like I got a good balance of songs I was hoping to hear and new material.” -Erin Grodeska, audience member.
Hoop stopped halfway through her set to take a moment to talk about how she was a fan of DiFranco’s work and was thankful she had the opportunity to open for her. Like DiFranco, Hoop is known for addressing women’s rights issues such as differences in upbringing and female autonomy.
Totally wowed by @anidifranco in #foco #tonight ❤️🎶 📷 @marcleverettephotography #supportlivemusic #focomusic #anidifranco #soldout
“She was amazing; her voice was incredible,” audience member Whitney Plantilla said. Plantilla said she had not heard of Hoop before that night but said she was excited to listen to more of her after the concert.
After a brief intermission, DiFranco opened with “God’s Country” off her 1993 album, “Puddle Drive.” DiFranco’s performance was packed with many of her classics more recognizable to the older fans in the audience.
In an instance of audience participation, when DiFranco was preparing to play “Coming Up,” a song more akin to slam poetry than a typical folk-rock song, audience members began shushing the rest of the room until the entire theater was silent for the rendition.
“It was really great to see Ani (DiFranco),” said audience member Erin Grodeska. “I felt like I got a good balance of songs I was hoping to hear and new material.”
Between songs, DiFranco entertained the audience with personal stories or meditations on the upcoming songs. Notably, she retold the story of how she performed at a school after being invited by a student fan, which subsequently landed the fan in trouble due to DiFranco’s explicit subject matter.
Before the song “Play God,” DiFranco discussed her take on where life begins. She used an analogy between nature and the human body, comparing an oocyte to a plant seed and sperm to rain.
A rollercoaster of emotions, the set took audiences from danceable, upbeat folk-rock anthems to quiet, intimate ballads. To the audience’s delight, DiFranco closed out the performance with three encore songs.
Ty Davis can be reached at email@example.com or Twitter @tydavisACW.