Though the Indigo Girls began strumming their guitars and singing their hearts out around the time I started kindergarten, I first heard their music 10 or so years later as a freshman in high school. I knew enough about music to appreciate the instrumental and vocal talents of both Emily Saliers and Amy Ray, but I also grew to love their folk rock style and found myself drawn to their occasionally controversial lyrics. (What high school student doesn't gravitate toward music that toes the line?)
I learned all of the songs on the Indigo Girls' first few CDs, and listened to them regularly both on my huge boombox and in the car - once we finally upgraded to a Buick with a CD player - on my way to and from soccer practices and games. Twice I traveled with high school friends to see them perform as part of Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair concert tour and traveling musical festival, and I saw them in concert in Madison with my mom and sister. The Indigo Girls' songs became inextricably linked to the majority of my high school memories and friends, so when I saw them in concert again a couple of weeks ago, so much of that period of my life came flooding back.
Me and my "date" (my mom) at the concert.
Amy (center), Emily (right), and their incredible
violinist (whose name I didn't catch) on the left.
The Madison set list.
I performed "Closer to Fine" with a friend at her neighborhood block party. My sister and her best friend, accompanied by my dad on guitar, performed "Love Will Come to You" at our high school's Fine Arts Week. My friends and I belted out "Galileo" and "Least Complicated" as we drove around Madison - windows down with the wind whipping through our hair - on warm summer nights. I put "Get Out the Map" on the first mix-tape I ever made for my directionally-challenged mom. I sang "Power of Two", with Tom accompanying me on guitar, at a friend's wedding. Even today I still sing "Shame on You" in the car, strategically turning down the volume so my kids won't hear the swear word, and "Ghost" in the shower.
I once overheard someone assert, "funny how a melody sounds like a memory". The Indigo Girls dominate the soundtrack of my high school years. Their melodies are my memories, even 20 years after that phase of my life came to an end, and I was so grateful for the opportunity to experience their music - live - once again.
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