In a way, my experience at Bryn Mawr was bookended by Dar Williams concerts. My very first exposure to Dar was when she performed in Goodhart at the beginning of my freshman year (possibly before classes even started). And near the end of my senior year, she came back to Bryn Mawr and performed in TGH (Thomas Great Hall, to all not in the know).
In between those times, I also saw Dar perform at the Minnesota Zoo. While she was fantastic there, I think there was something special about her Bryn Mawr performances. She’s this folky, acoustic guitar-playing singer/songwriter, and people treat her like a rock star.
The first time she came to Bryn Mawr was 1996 — “it’s so great to be back at Bryn Mawr.” And she knows about the May Hole Dance (which is the awesome part of May Day when we dance around to her song “As Cool As I Am”). And she offered up a guitar pick to “the goddess” (she knows even our little traditions!) — we give offerings to the statue of Athena in TGH. It was awesome.
There’s such an amazing energy about being at Bryn Mawr for a Dar concert. She just seemed happier. I’m not trying to say that her concert in Minnesota wasn’t fantastic, but at Bryn Mawr, even the mellow, wistful songs had an energy — and “As Cool As I Am” was just off the charts. She was definitely having fun. It was unforgettable: there’s nothing like a Dar Williams concert at Bryn Mawr.