Armed with just her guitar, 20 years worth of folky, sexy and political songs and the unrequited love of several hundred dedicated fans, Ani DiFranco was amply equipped Sunday night to excel.
That she did. Minus her usual funk-oriented backing band, DiFranco bounded out in front of a bundled up crowd and despite some minor sound problems quickly had the crowd on its feet to stay.
A perennially underrated guitarist, DiFranco easily handled the task of satisfying the audience as it was often easy to forget her six-string was the lone instrument on stage.
DiFranco basically apologized for playing "all new songs" at her 2010 Kingsbury Hall concert and announced early Sunday night that she would "play you all songs you know tonight." She also thanked the audience for having lined up early on a rainy afternoon to be greeted by temperatures in the 50s.
The singer doubted she had the resolve to do the same thing for anyone. "Your love makes me feel wonderfully deficient," DiFranco quipped.
The show's energy level stayed remarkably high considering the weather. Highlights included "Angry Anymore," "Manhole," and "As Is."
DiFranco also sang songs displaying her decidedly left-wing world view including "Zoo," and "New Song," (New Orleans Poison). While the crowd was sympathetic to her politics, many of the audience's females seemed most excited when DiFranco sang about an ill-fated lesbian love affair during "Two Little Girls" from 1998's "Little Plastic Castle."
Another fan favorite was the intensely personal "Swan Dive."
DiFranco ended her set by playing the 1930s folk song "Which Side Are You On?," which is from an unreleased upcoming project.
Despite having only one-chord, the political anthem, which now features updated lyrics from DiFranco again displayed her liberal bent, but the crowd seemed to be completely with her.
On her side, indeed.
Follow Salt Lake Magazine Arts/Entertainment writer Scott Murphy on Twitter @murphyinfo.