Hallelujah, you’re a sinner, you’re a saint
You built me up to break, turned my lovin’ into hate
But honey when you left me in the darkness I saw the light
I picked the sorry’s up
I put the worries down
You’re love, no it just ain’t worth cursin’
You’re heart, you’re heart just ain’t worth hurtin’
~Diane Birch (Forgiveness)
When you read these lyrics, what comes to mind? Is it a past relationship? Is it a personal struggle with yourself? On the morning of June 1st, those where the questions I asked myself when I posted these lyrics on my Facebook status. Not only did these lyrics inspire me, more importantly the lyrics were a clever way of reflecting my anticipation of seeing an amazing musician later that evening. It had been almost a year since the release of Bible Belt and nearly nine months since I first sat down to interview Diane Birch at the Hudson Hotel. I was anxious to not only see her perform again, but also to sit down and catch up with what was new in her world.Shortly after I posted Diane’s lyrics on my Facebook status, the comments began to roll in. With every “Amen!” “Say it again!” and “I’m reposting this!” comment, my friends validated how the lyrics of a song could touch your soul like an inspirational sermon. Reading the comments made me listen to Bible Belt in a fresh perspective. At first it was about great musicianship, now it was about how the lyrics of Diane’s songs could instantly connect to an emotion deep down inside you. Her lyrics were equally as strong as the way she sang them.
Anyone who attends a Diane Birch show can testify that it is an experience for your heart and soul. Wherever the venue, she is performing at, it is immediately transformed into the Church of Diane Birch. Those who are true believers stand in the front, all others stand aside to bare witness. From the first song, Choo Choo, to the last song and current single, Valentino, everyone in attendence at Highline Ballroom hung on to every note Diane sang and every key she played. I got goose bumps as Diane transformed Haddaway’s popular 90s dance club classic What Is Love, into a heartfelt soulful plea. I was then brought down memory lane with her rendition of Hall & Oates’ hit Rich Girl, showcasing her diversity in musical influences.
A daughter of a preacher, Diane Birch shared a story of her father waiting up one night with a Bible in hand, for her to get home from sneaking out the house to a club. This experience and many others like it, inspired the song Don’t Wait Up, which had the crowd clapping and joining in on the chorus. As Diane performed Rewind, I noticed a young woman, standing not too far from me, wiping away tears from her eyes as she sang along with Diane:
I saw you on the corner holding hands with someone new
Happy as a boy could be
Love was in your eyes and yeah she looked the same way too
It’s funny that was almost me
If you have never attended a Diane Birch show, you are missing out on a complete experience. When you enter into the Church of Diane Birch, there is no telling what emotion will come over you. Best believe you’ll be clapping your hands, stomping your feet, and there is no doubt, you’ll be praying that the show will never end!
Diane Birch in concert.
More exclusive footage of Diane Birch in concert at the Highline Ballroom can be found on the Official John Simon Daily YouTube Channel