By Elisa D’Amico

(c) D’Amico Media

After a decade without experiencing a live performance of the unique blend of folk and activism that the Indigo Girls offer, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to see the duo live on May 5, 2024. As soon as I heard they’d be playing at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts, I scooped up two orchestra seats. My partner for this magical evening was my friend and community leader, Sensei Carol White of White Tiger and Dragon Martial Arts, who shares my appreciation for Amy and Emily’s music. And, it’d been way too long since we had some down time together.

(c) D’Amico Media

Even before we got on the road, the night took a turn for the … well, luxurious. I was in charge of tickets, and “Sensei” was in charge of transportation. I was expecting a rideshare but no … I was picked up in a white stretch limo. I was running a few minutes behind, and when my husband asked “are you holding everyone up” I said “no it’s just us.” Yep – just the two of us in a huge vehicle. I couldn’t stop laughing and smiling, in part because this certainly was out of character for an Indigo Girls show, but more than that, it’s out of character for me. But it was a spectacular way to catch up – and it didn’t hurt that Sensei had made sure to bring cooler full of rosé and bubbly, including a special bottle she picked just for me (thanks Happy Wines)!

Once at the venue, the night kicked off with Lucy Wainwright Roche opening the show. Her performance was remarkable and she was quite funny – in fact, I may have enjoyed her adlibbed commentary as much as the music! Her ability to be an open book with the audience and her personal connection with the Indigo Girls made hers the perfect opener for this show.

(c) Indigo Girls

And then it was time. As Amy Ray and Emily Saliers took the stage, the chemistry and raw energy that have defined the Indigo Girls for over three decades were palpable. People couldn’t stay in their seats and everyone was singing and smiling. Their performance was both magical and emotionally resonant, especially during “Power of Two,” which was to my surprise a dedication to someone named “Mike” in the audience. The song was perfection, and as soon as it ended, he joyfully shouted out “she said yes!” which sent waves of excitement through the crowd. (Huge congrats to you Mike and your soon-to-be-bride)!

The mix of old and new tunes was just right, and the duo closed their set with my personal favorite, “Galileo,” a fitting finale to a night of powerful music and important messages. For one, the stage backdrop was a huge bookshelf populated with banned books – very apropos for those of us here in Florida. The crowd went absolutely wild when they played “Closer to Fine.” Sure, I’m sure there were quite a few attendees who had only learned about that song when Margot Robbie belted it in Barbie, but there were quite a few people there who fell in love with that song 35 years ago when it first came out. But I promise, I’m not judging! I think it’s fantastic that Indigo Girls have gotten a fair bit of screen time lately – first with Barbie and then Glitter & Doom. Now, their new documentary: Indigo Girls: It’s Only Life After Allfrom Oscilloscope Laboratories HD, is out. You can stream it and I highly recommend that you do – if you’re a ride-or-die fan like me, you’ll probably want to buy it because renting it just isn’t enough. And you don’t have to trust me – check out the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes!

The Indigo Girls continue to influence both the music and cultural landscapes. Their show was a profound reminder of their enduring relevance and revolutionary spirit. Whether through their direct action for various causes or their stirring music, Amy and Emily continue to awe and inspire, as I’m sure they will for many years to come.

Note: check out this awesome piece by Annie Zaleski.