In honour of St. Patrick’s day, last night I headed off to Toronto with my friend Aqleema (see her review of the concert here). The goal – to see Sarah McLachlan in concert. This would be the second time that I would be seeing her in concert, but it would be Aqleema’s first. In fact, this would be Aqleema’s first concert ever.
Before the concert, we opted to head to the Asian Bowl for some grub. And by opted, I mean that we were forced to go here as all other restaurants and pubs were elbow to elbow full of people getting their green-beer on. One pub had a line-up that spanned a city block. Crazy.
Dinner was good, if not a little rushed given the time we actually arrived in Toronto, managed to park and then find a place to eat. I opted for 2 appetizers (spring rolls and deep-fried chicken filled wontons – YUM), while Aqleema chose a delicious avocado salad. I paired mine with a cold bottle of Tiger beer. I may have also enjoyed a bit of a lychee martini, but I’ll never say for sure.
Following dinner, we walked to Massey Hall as the concert was to begin promptly at 7:30pm. I love this venue for concerts, because it’s not too big and it’s not too small either. It offers an intimate setting while still giving you a big concert feel. To date, I’ve seen Amanda Marshall, Erykah Badu, Jon Stewart, the Kids in the Hall, and several other comedy shows at Massey Hall. All were amazing.
Tonight’s concert was going to be a bit different from the normal concert fare that most are accustomed. In this particular case, Sarah decided to avoid the use of an opening band, and instead feature the musical talents of her band. Their music was interspersed throughout the set. The talents included
I had never heard music from either of these artists. But what I heard was fantastic. Their music fit so well with Sarah’s music, while at the same time being unique and stand-alone. The best; whoever wasn’t singing lead became back-up singer. And I have to say I was amazed by this. Seeing Sarah take a back seat to two amazing talents speaks volumes. Not only was Sarah playing back-up, she did so with the same intensity that she would use as lead. She knew all of their songs word for word. It was quite inspiring and amazing to see. Ultimately, it felt as if the three were having a very polished jam session, and we were allowed to watch. Awesome!
The night also included a question and answer period, where audience members could submit questions during the intermission. Sarah then randomly drew them from a hat and answered them as honestly as she could. What did we learn?
- Sarah has kissed a girl, and she liked it. On multiple occasions no less.
- If she could date any actor, it would be Viggo Mortensen.
- If she could date any actress, it would be either Jodie Foster, or Cate Blanchett.
- Motherhood has been far more profound than her career.
- She has had sex on the beach.
- She learned to surf when she was 30.
- She has hung ten only once.
- She would not say which guitarist in her band was the best.
The set list, to the best of my recollection and proficiency on the intertubes included (please correct me if I’m wrong):
- Building A Mystery
- Loving You Is Easy
- To Feel Love (Butterfly Boucher)
- Another White Dash (Butterfly Boucher)
- Passenger 24 (Melissa McClelland)
- Brake (Melissa McClelland)
- I Will Remember You
- Don’t Give Up On Us
- Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
- World On Fire
- Broken One (Melissa McClelland)
- Emily, Please (Melissa McClelland)
- I Can’t Make Me (Butterfly Boucher)
- A Bitter Song (Butterfly Boucher)
- Good Enough
- The Path Of Thorns (Terms)
- Hold On
- Illusions Of Bliss
- Sweet Surrender
- Rivers Of Love
- Ice Cream
Overall, the concert was everything I was expecting, and then some. Between Sarah and these two new amazing artists (well, new to me), the music was incredible. It also didn’t hurt in the slightest that Sarah brought a Cellist on stage at the end of the night for Angel. So. Freaking. Good. Honestly, the cello is one of my absolute all time favourite instruments. Between that and Sarah on the piano, I was in heaven. All of this, and I get to check off item #33 on my Not-So-Bucket-List list. Who could ask for a better night?
1 Bitter Song by Butterfly Boucher. She played this last night. Amazing. Absolutely amazing.
2 Broken One by Melissa McClelland. Another excellent performance.
Some other songs by Butterfly Boucher and Melissa McClelland:
And an example of how awesome the three (Sarah, Butterfly, and Melissa) are together. I really hope they do a joint album.