so heavy holdin up the ceiling
May 12. 2000, part two

Dad and I went to see Susan Werner tonight. I was really looking forward to it, because she was so amazing when I saw her last year with Dar Williams, I couldn't wait to see her again, and especially see what Dad thought of her.

She performed in this little basement room of the Whitaker Center, this brand new (opened last year) science and arts center in the downtown area of Harrisburg. Wow. It was the first time I had been in there, and the place was absolutely gorgeous, with that new look and smell to it. And god, was it cavernous. The place takes up an entire city block, and is attached to the Harrisburg Hilton via a small elevated walkway.

We were a little early for the concert (since it was general admission, I wanted to get there early), so Dad I went to the Gingerbread Man, a restaurant downtown. Downtown Harrisburg is a really odd place, I must say. The entire place shuts down after 5 pm, because all the stores and shops and restaurants in the downtown area are there to only serve the employees working at the government offices downtown. Hence, at 7 pm on a Friday night, it was absolutely dead. The G'Man was only place open within 5 blocks of the Whitaker Center.

As expected, Susan Werner was just amazing. In this era of big arenas and impersonal stadium shows, it was absolutely refreshing and wonderful to go see one of my favorite musicians, and sit in the front row 10 feet away from her in an audience of less than 100. Not only is she an phenomenal guitar, singer and pianist, but has an excellent stage presence and is also funny as hell. She had the entire audience roaring at some points.

I would definitely recommend any of her albums, but she's 10 times better live. She has an absolutely gorgeous voice, smooth as silk and with that resonant, golden quality. It was fascinating to watch her face, because it had so many expressions that complemented her music perfectly. I also love her guitar playing, which is so dense and rhythmic, it's a thrill to hear and to watch. She really throws her whole self into performing, and that's so great to see. She played a lot of new songs that night, most which I didn't recognize. I'm hoping she'll start making a new album soon.

I bought the one album of hers that I didn't have, and we both walked out, my Dad a converted Susan Werner fan. She has a website, go check it out. Hopefully I'll get to see her again in King of Prussia in July.

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all writings, (c) 1999-2000, BRR