Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Sarah Mclachlan, Vancouver, June 12

I finally, for the first time in my life, got to see the extremely creative and talented Sarah Mclachaln perform at GM Place. I have been a huge fan of hers since Fumbling. She did not disappoint. She did all of her songs from Afterglow. Train Wreck was really awesome,as was Time, featuring Sarah on acoustic guitar. She also did four songs from Surfacing and five from Fumbling Toward Ecstacy, though nothing from Touch or Solace. One surpirse for me was an excellent rendition of the Peter Gabriel song Solsbury Hill. It was an emotional concert as it was her last concert of the tour, and in her hometown. Here's a Vancouver Sun article on the concert.

Sarah, fans soar on happy homecoming vibe
Last stop of the tour has McLachlan 'feeling love, feeling awesome' as the crowd hangs on every word from the sentimental star

Kerry Gold
Vancouver Sun

Monday, June 13, 2005

With an enchanted forest backdrop behind her, carrying a guitar, wearing clunky boots and a flowing skirt, a relaxed-looking Sarah McLachlan traipsed onto the stage at GM Place Sunday night and settled into one of her newest songs, World on Fire.

The concert was the last of the tour, and McLachlan radiated excitement to be wrapping up in her home base, with family and friends present and a free summer ahead. Outside on one of the tour buses someone had hung a sign that said, "Home Sweet Home." Jason Priestley could be spotted picking up tickets at will call. And about 11,000 fans filled seats to witness the adult contemporary star's home coming.

McLachlan had suffered a setback earlier in the year when she contracted sinusitis and laryngitis and was forced to postpone a few tour dates. Logistically, it made sense to end in Vancouver, which made the singer happy.

"It's really fortuitous that I got sick near the end of the tour because otherwise I wouldn't have finished in Vancouver," she said, to many cheers, following a breezy version of Building a Mystery, the hit off 1997's Surfacing.

The lovely Adia, also from that album, was the first song of the evening to get the reserved crowd revved up. The momentum hit an occasional wall, however, by the less successful new material such as Perfect Girl and Drifting, pleasing enough but meandering, overly subtle songs, nonetheless.

McLachlan dedicated love song Push to husband and percussionist Ash Sood, jokingly introducing the song as an apology for the months of postpartum crying jags he had to endure following the birth of their daughter three years ago. McLachlan is a more communicative performer than she was in her Lilith Fair years, talking frequently and intimately with her audience (as intimate as one can get in front of 11,000 people).

She reiterated self-deprecating anecdotes she'd given in recent interviews involving her own control-freak tendencies, rolling her eyes when she mistakenly referred to herself as a "young mother," and changing it to "young-ish mother."

It went over big with the fans, particularly one mom who consistently shrieked for long, almost disturbing intervals. Everyone else erupted for the emotionally charged, sweeping songs for which McLachlan is idolized, including Push, I Will Remember You, Arms of an Angel, Sweet Surrender, Possession, Ice Cream. McLachlan's voice remains a powerful instrument, the star of the show.

"If I had to choose a song off my newest record this is probably my favourite," she said, introducing piano ballad Answer, a quiet, hymn-like song that brought McLachlan around to her piano, accompanied only by three seated bandmates singing back up. McLachlan's note-perfect delivery inspired the audience to start applauding halfway through, and it was around this point that the audience loosened up enough to start screaming the "I love you's."

By the time she sang an acoustic version of Arms of an Angel, she had the room on its feet. An earlier highlight was McLachlan's stellar cover of Blackbird (from the I Am Sam soundtrack), a folksy version of a classic that was given new life by signature McLachlan's vocal style.

The show had an air of something special to it, being the last stop. At the end of the set, fake leaves fell from the ceiling and littered the stage as McLachlan and her seven-piece band took their bows in the din of applause. Her roadies sang Carol Burnett's "It's so nice we had this time together" theme song from the side of the stage as part of the encore.

"I'm having such an amazing time tonight," McLachlan told her equally polite crowd. "We are all feeling love here. We are feeling awesome. It's so nice to end at home," she said. "Thank you so much."