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Indigo Girls more personable than ever in Byham show

| Monday, March 4, 2013, 1:16 a.m.
The Indigo Girls Credit: Jeremy Cowart

The Indigo Girls created an intimate atmosphere Sunday at the Byham Theater, where it felt like the folk-rock duo was singing for a much smaller gathering.

Emily Saliers and Amy Ray show a laid-back, personable style on stage, with a beautiful simplicity in their folksy music and live performance. There was neither a grand entrance with a curtain nor drumroll announcement or special effects. Saliers and Ray simply strolled out to the stage, strapped on their guitars and gave Pittsburghers a warm greeting, saying it was great to be back.

The Indigo Girls covered their bases by focusing largely on their classic favorites, including the inaugural hit “Closer to Fine” from the late ‘80s, the rocking “Galileo” that turned the Byham aisle into a dance floor and “Least Complicated.” Yet the singers didn't neglect their more recent material, throwing in some songs from the past decade and their most recent album, 2011's “Beauty Queen Sister." The most compelling moment of the show came from Saliers' solo performance of her self-penned ballad “Fly Away,” a song full of metaphors about birds that she sang with such heart. That song is from the 2006 album “Despite Our Differences.”

Saliers and Ray, who have been performing together since high school in their home state of Georgia, complement each other well with their harmonies. The women showed their friendship with some good-natured teasing and wisecracks.

The Atlanta-based Shadowboxers, a talented band, opened for the Indigos, and backed them during their headlining performance. It was interesting to watch the ever-rotating stringed instruments that passed among Saliers and Ray and a stage hand. The singers didn't seem to hold the same instruments for more than one song. They consistently rotated from acoustic to electric guitars, a banjo and a mandolin.

Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 412-320-7824.

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