Indigo Girls | 05.31.14

live indigo-girls 75With stunning vocal harmonies, Ray and Sailers were quite in tune with one another, and with beautiful results.

indigo girls logo

featuring the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Powell Symphony Hall, St. Louis

With a career spanning almost 30 years, Amy Ray and Emily Sailers, known world over as the Indigo Girls, brought their folk-acoustic stylings to St. Louis on Saturday. However, this was not your typical Indigo Girls concert, as they were backed by our own St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

The Girls played to a packed Powell Symphony Hall, to a crowd surprisingly diverse. Long labeled a “lesbian act,” the duo started making hits in 1991 with their first single “Closer to Fine,” and proved long ago that they are much more than a catchphrase. Starting out in high school, they have risen like two shining stars over the past 30 years. Now, with the recently released The Essential Indigo Girls, a two-disc set consisting of the best tracks from their vast catalog, the Indigo Girls added a new dimension to their music with the addition of the orchestra.

When one thinks of rock artists who would be backed by a symphony, the Indigo Girls hardly come to mind. Yet, the beautifully written orchestral score took the passionate music of the band to soaring new heights. Conducted by Steven Jarvi, the symphony were in fine form, as the swell of the strings and the precision of the brass and woodwinds embraced such songs as “Kid Fears,” “Galileo,” and “Power of Two” with elegance. With stunning vocal harmonies, Ray and Sailers were quite in tune with one another, with beautiful results. The audience ate up every note and strum of the guitar. Most fans in attendance sang every word.

After a 20-minute intermission, the Girls returned to the stage wearing bright smiles. One got the feeling that this show was more off-the-cuff, with little time for rehersals. The smiles from the girls and the conductor alike said, “Yes! We pulled it off!” and they did so in a magnificent way. The Indigo Girls impressed me: With their songwriting and diversity, and with their undeniable talent. Their folk-based material, surrounded by the charming strains of the orchestra, was no less than superb.

As the duo closed the show with their biggest hit, “Closer to Fine,” the entire venue was on its feet and singing out loud…even the ushers! These are artists with nothing left to prove to anyone. The Indigo Girls are at the top of their game; they are certainly much closer to fine. | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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