So, armed with a renewed and stupidly expensive working visa, I’m back in the USA. I usually only suffer from jet lag flying East but its got me this time. Keep waking up at 5am even when I’m not shutting it down till 2am..not good. Colorado is beautiful and the opening show of this tour with Ani DiFranco is in picturesque Aspen. The drive up from Denver was spectacular through the Rocky Mountains and canyons with pounding rivers. I had a little trouble finding the venue (it was a relatively small show for Ani as it’s the first of a run), but the huge tour bus is not too hard to find and that’s what I will be looking for in the next ten days. That didn’t stop me getting a parking ticket though! I’m travelling on my own this tour, which is a challenge but liberating too.
Most of the shows on this tour are before crowds of around 2000 but this is a warm up show with around 500 folk cramming themselves in to the Belly Up. Ani’s team are all very friendly and welcoming, which is an extension of all she is about. I don’t get to meet her as she is busy with interviews etc but when I’m playing she comes and sits on the side of the stage and listens to my set. Later in her show she thanks me from the stage for ‘bringing those songs all this way, I like those songs”. Not that means a lot. The very fact that I’m on this tour is humbling because Ani does not suffer fools gladly and is selective about who opens her shows. Even so one is never sure how things are going to go and her words strangely move me. Her show is impassioned, musically inventive and connecting. She is world class, simply one of the best. I’m looking forward to meeting her properly today in Salt Lake City. Flew in here last night after a day off in Snowmass, just outside of Aspen. It’s an up and coming ski resort sort of place with lots of, err, ski shops. I can’t quite get a handle on Salt Lake though the Mormons did a while back. I shall go Osmond spotting later.