What do Ani DiFranco and my wedding anniversary (today) have in common? Quite a bit.
I’ve been a fan of Ani’s for over a decade now. I wouldn’t say I’m a die-hard fan, but I have a few albums and have seen her live a couple times. She’s a great and prolific songwriter, and after all more than two decades is still hustling and bustling – tearing up the road, releasing album after album, managing her record label Righteous Babe Records, and engaging in social and political activism. Ani is also a great performer, with her nimble voice and raucous guitar style making her infectious both as a solo act and with a backing band.
Ani’s hometown is Buffalo, NY, and she does much to support her home community. Righteous Babe Records’s headquarters remains in Buffalo, connected to an amazing performance space and art gallery known collectively as Babeville. Originally an ornate – but later run-down – cathedral in downtown Buffalo, Ani purchased and updated the space. Not only did she provide Buffalo with a new and unique stage, but the hall is also rented out for private functions. This where I come in.
My wife, also a Buffalo native, and I were married at Babeville’s Asbury Hall last year and it couldn’t have been more perfect. (We didn’t select it because of Ani’s connection – it was just a happy coincidence.) The unique venue – old, artsy, classy – was the right size for our number of guests, and the staff was simply amazing. (The wedding and reception were both onsite.) A few of my friends are big Ani fans, so there was also the added fun of both taking vows and dancing right by the stage. And having the wedding party camp out in the green rooms was a nice bonus.
Here’s a video of Ani and her band performing at Babeville. It’s from here DVD Live at Babeville. (I don’t yet have that one, but I do have and love Trust.) I generally don’t like including “DVD material” in this series, but considering it’s from the official Righteous Babe Records YouTube account, I call that a wash.
“Little Plastic Castle” (NOTE: her fans are loud and love to sing…)
DVD Trailer (good venue footage)