“Sometimes life gives us lessons sent in ridiculous packaging”. – Dar Williams
Dar Williams took to the stage at Delmar Hall with an acoustic guitar and a keyboardist, Bryn Roberts. She had what I can only call a musical conversation with a hall full of her friends. It was a lovely night of music and storytelling – and musical storytelling.
Williams sings about things that are part of the human condition, and so her music resonates on a deeply personal level. I noticed while waiting for the show to start, that the crowd was made up of all kinds of couples who were comfortable holding hands. I saw conservatively dressed folks, and people with pink hair and tattoos. There were older fans and children, and the feeling that was prevalent was one of comfort. Everyone felt safe. Everyone felt represented and welcome. I am old enough that seeing two women hold hands and lean into each other still makes me ridiculously happy, because that tells me that our society has built them a space where they feel safe doing so.
She sang about her babysitter (who was also an urban planner) and segued into her book about urban planning (What I Found in a Thousand Towns, published in September by Basic Books) and how communities can come together. I love hearing people talk about their Thing—that thing that lights them up and makes them on fire. Dar’s Thing is absolutely community—in building it with her music, encouraging it with her book, and in creating a safe space for her fans. | Melissa Cynova
Photos by Joe Johnson, Crossroad Images. Click to enlarge.