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Great show, Ani D.!

Independent folkster Ani DiFranco is not played much on the radios, and that's fine with her. Why should it matter? The singer certainly can pack a small venue with devoted fans! About 1,500 of them came to Tampa Theatre to see her perform last week. Ani D. really knows how to rock!

Ani put one on one of the best concerts I have ever seen. She is quite simply one of the most talented singers around today. Each song is full of her clever lyrics, each with its own special message. With topics ranging from crimes to just plain joy, Ani can really entertain an audience.

Between songs she shared her political philosophies and many interesting views on life. In one commentary, Ani pondered the meaning of "enough." She said that she rode her bike around the city and saw "plenty" and "enough."

It is hard for me to pick one highlight of the show, because as far as I am concerned, all of her songs were great! Ani played a lot of new material. Her song Jukebox was very interesting, lyrically and musically. She was joined by Jason Mercer, who put down his bass guitar and played the cello for the song. This was a unique treat! Also, from some older CDs, Anticipate and Untouchable Face showed Ani's true vocal ability and range. She has 10 CDs to her name.

Opening act Danielle Howle proved to be quite a treat, too! Danielle came out with her two guitars, her acoustic one and her mini-electric guitar, which she named "Stumpy." Two nice aspects of her performance were her strong voice and quirky personality.

Ani closed the show with one of her best and most well-liked songs, Shameless. She let her orangey-red hair down (you never know what color it will be) and got really comfortable. Her band _ Andy Stochensky on drums and percussion, Julie Wolf on keyboard and backup vocals, and Jason Mercer on bass _ joined her playing of many guitars to display great skill.

Ani came back for two crowd-pleasing encores, a funky keyboard remix of Gravel and Joyful Girl. She never disappoints her fans, giving them what they pay for: an entertaining show well worth their time.

Brian Orloff, 13, is an eighth-grader at the Pinellas County Jewish Day School in Clearwater and a member of last year's X-Team.