With harmonies as heady as they are complex, the Indigo Girls are still able to strike the right pop chord when they want, but, as their delegation of loyal fans would say, they’re simply deeper than that. Their Palace visit provided a clear view into the band’s back-and-forth career: flighty sing-along favorites with introspective lyrics that have made them a college circuit fave and hardcore roots rock which radio playlists have shunned despite that genre’s recent renaissance.
No matter the battles Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have had trying to become bigger than they are, the Indigo Girls have paved the way for the legion of femme rockers (Avril Lavigne, Michelle Branch) fixated on pop principles and chart-topping singles. Their new album, Sony’s “Become You,” their eighth studio effort, is a return to form: a mixture of looks at past romances and personal battles, told either with sweetness or intensity.
Ray is the gravelly voiced rocker whose tunes on Monday — the mandolin-fueled “Ozilline” and “Yield” and especially the opener “Bitterroot” — took care of the hardcore rock ‘n’ roll, while Saliers placated the devotees who seemed more comfortable with songs they know from dorm rooms of days gone by. To that end, the band chose “Power of Two,” “Galileo,” “Watershed,” “Least Complicated,” “Virginia Woolf” and “Tried to be True.”
A spirited perf by Belgian brother-sister import K’s Choice kicked things off. Trying to find as strong a following as they have in Europe, band settled on, among other songs, “I’m Not an Addict, “I Believe” and the title song from their new album, “Almost Happy” (Sony). They rejoined Ray and Saliers later, with Sarah Bettens backing up “Closer to Fine” and bro Gert singing on “Kid Fears,” a role taken on by Michael Stipe on the Indigo Girls’ self-titled debut back in 1989.