The Innocence Mission at the Iron Horse Music Hall

On Saturday, Jennifer and I met up with our friend Jeff at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA, to see The Innocence Mission perform.

I had seen them play only once before, way back in 1995 at Fez in NYC, and the thing I remember the most about that show (other than some of the obnoxious record company squid I was sitting near) was how shy and nervous Karen, the lead singer, seemed to be.

This time around Karen seemed a bit more confident, but still more shy and nervous than most of the performers I’ve seen. When she sang though….wow….her face would light up with this big smile, and she was obviously enjoying herself quite a lot. I think she would have done better between songs as the show went along, but some members of the crowd (the place was pretty much sold out) felt the need to scream at the top of their lungs after each and every song. This is something I expect at a show by Sleater-Kinney or Dresden Dolls, but The Innocence Mission aren’t that kind of band, and it seemed obvious to me that the excessive way these people were expressing their appreciation rattled Karen.

Despite that, Karen, Don and Mike put on a fantastic show, playing many of the songs off their most recent album, Befriended, as well as a few songs from the previous two albums and a cover or two (including a very good version of John Denver’s “Follow Me”). I would have liked it if they had managed to fit in a song or two from their first couple of albums, but that’s a minor complaint. It was an amazingly good performance, and I’m very glad I was there to see it. Hopefully it won’t be another nine years before I have the chance to see The Innocence Mission play again.

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