Sarah McLachlan,Jones Hall, October 7, 1997
Opening Acts: Madelline Peyroux
Sarah McLachlan played Jones Hall tonight and what an amazing treat of talent. Sarah isa Canadian performer (originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, currently residing inVancouver) who has a beautiful voice, unique style, and an amazing ability to writesensitive lyrics and diverse melodies.
After a nice performance by opener Madelline Peyroux, who performed jazzy tunes withonly an acoustic guitar and horn accompanying, Sarah and her band took to the dark stagewhile in the background strains of could be heard of Last Dance, the last song on hercurrent CD, which is an instrumental of piano, upright bass, and saw. Sarah pulled nopunches by diving head first into her current hit "Building a Mystery", whereshe played electric guitar with her full band, consisting of two other guitars, bass,backup singer, keyboards, and even a husband on drums (married Ashwin Sood this year).Even her Labrador Retriever, Rex, got into the act by walking out on stage during thefirst number. Throughout the show, Sarah mixed things up, playing acoustic guitar, piano,or just swaying seductively in front of the mike. She took the audience through Hold On,Good Enough, Possession, and Wait from Fumbling Towards Ecstacy. She had a great comfortwith the audience first explaining that this was the first show on her own tour (after thevery succesful Lilith Fair finished) and that she had been in LA filming a video whichkept her from several dress rehearsals. She was sporting some chunky boots, which shedescribed her video director as having convinced her to wear based on Marilyn Manson'sinfluence (they actually did look pretty cool on her).
She explained some of the motivations for her songs, describing a period earlier thisyear when she was just too happy to write. (Of course she was happy, having huge success,completing Lilith Fair, and having just gottenmarried). She received the lyrics for "Do What You Have to Do" from a friendthat had been going through some hard times and crafted a beautiful song of unrequitedlove. Seeing her perform it at the piano, one feels her emotion in every word.Additionally, from Surfacing, she played Sweet Surrender and Witness, among others. Shealso added something from her earlier CDs, Touch and Solace.
The Houston crowd got to their feet to encourage Sarah back for more and she treated usto Ice Cream, a sweet song about the love of people and food. A second encore found Sarahalone at the piano again for "Angel", a song she wrote about the loss of lovedones to heroin addiction. Before the song, she told the story of forgetting how to playthe song like on the CD, but then remembering that she had played it in an easy key, onlysped up later when it was mixed in the studio. It was very funny at the time.
Sarah is on with the same management company as Barenaked Ladies, Nettwerk, a Vancouver company. They have done a fine jobof giving her the freedom to create and promoting her uniqueness. Lilith Fair was a hugesuccess and did much to draw attention to the many talented female performers that we aregraced with today.
During her performance, I found myself on the verge of tears for the sheer beauty ofthe performance and wishing I could be her. It is quite an accomplishment in today's musicindustry to achieve mainstream popularity with a unique sound and style that comes fromwithin. Sarah McLachlan is a lovely person, a friend of women, and an immensely talentedperformer. I can't wait to see her again this weekend in Boston at Mixfest. Click here for my review of that event.
On That Note, I'm outta here......