Lilith Fair, July 29, 1998
Woodlands Pavilion

Having missed Lilith last year, I was feeling very guilty for not participating in thepremier chic music event of our time, so I had to make it for it this year.  A bigSarah McLachlan fan, I knew a night of her would be enough for a good time, but this nightalso held Natalie Merchant and Bonnie Raitt.  A long meeting at work prevented mefrom getting in early enough for the second stage acts, and I also missed Erykah Badu andMeredith Brooks on the main stage, but still got a good feeling for this evening ofsoulful sisters.  There were about 70% women in attendance and the crowd was calm,but thoroughly into the music, proving that women don't need men to buy their tickets and  take them to concerts.

First Bonnie Raitt, who I had not seen before, but have admired for a long time, sincethe early 80s with her great CD Green Light (of which she played nothing).     What a strong performer and awesome guitarist.  She litthrough many of her popular tunes including, Something to Talk About, I Can't Make YouLove Me, Thing Called Love, Love Letter, and a great rendition of Angel From Montgomery.  Bonnie's career spans three complete decades. She writes of lost love and despair,so poignantly, yet not sentimentally.  She is the perfect strong mother figure tohead up this girl power festival.  A tribute to the Fabulous Thunderbirds and a visitfrom Meredith Brooks (who absolutely rocked on electric guitar) rounded out her set.

Natalie Merchant, formerly of 10,000 Maniacs, but now out on her own for several years,has a unique voice and flowing style.  She sang songs from the new CD Ophelia,with the hit Kind and Generous (thank you , thank you) but also provided other hits likeJealousy from Tigerlillies.  Missing was representation of her stuff from10k Maniac days.  Natalie had an ongoing conversation with a grasshopper for most ofthe show and seemed a bit out of focus.  She was less ethereal than when I had seenher before and more scattered.  She ended the set swinging in a great big swing outover the audience, which you just have to love.  Looked like fun.  Theobligatory ending had Sarah McLachlan joining Natalie on stage and the power of theirbeautiful voices together was mesmerizing.

Finally, Sarah takes the stage to finish things up at this chic fest.  I loveSarah McLachlan and have seen her many times before, but this night, I did not feel washer best.  Possibly, the festival format or the distance of my lawn seats from thestage hindered by enjoyment a bit, but I didn't feel that Sarah was as calm or focused asI had seen her in the past. Nevertheless, her voice is absolutely a stunning gem.  Noone sings as spiritually and moving as Sarah.  She has deep range and soulfulmovements to accompany songs like Building a Mystery, Adia, and Sweet Surrender. Sarah isas comfortable at the guitar as at the piano, or just singing alone at the mike.  Acrowd favorite was Ice Cream with everyone singing along. Missing was my personal favoriteGood Enough as well as the song You Do What You Have to Do from the new CD Surfacing,but I still thoroughly enjoyed the evening. The big finish had the entire cast of womenjoining Sarah on stage for a rendition of Marvin Gaye's, What's Going On, complete withmodified lyrics of Sister, Sister instead of the standard Brother, Brother.  Lilithwas  a spectacle to behold, a triumph for women, and a great evening of music andentertainment.  I am moved by Sarah's commitment to her female counterparts.

On That Note, I'm outta here......


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