Sarah McLachlan Lights Up Red Rocks- Was it too Old School?

| July 8, 2014 | 0 Comments

by Maire Daugharty

Early on, Sarah McLachlan indicated a determination to highlight the special intimacy of a large group of people gathered to celebrate lyric and voice. Her moonlit concert at Red Rocks was everything, and more, than promised. Though seemingly anathema to a large crowd, she pulled it off expertly. With her stunning voice and array of topics, highly personal yet all of which the crowd could easily identify with, casual dress, and a backdrop of relevant graphics, her voice and personality filled the evening without the distraction of commercial flash.

After warming up with songs from her new album, Shine On, McLachlan invited selected members of the audience to join her on stage and enjoy the show from a cozy couch in her “living room.” She introduced herself, and invited folks to engage in some friendly banter with a superstar. One lucky winner, who flew in from Boston, told McLachlan that she had flown in primarily to see this show. McLachlan graciously pointed out that she has a show in Boston later this month. The crowd’s delighted laughter was the perfect segue back into music, clearly calling for a “frothy love song!”

But frothy love songs did not comprise the whole of the evening. Mixing the old with the new, McLachlan introduced the crowd to songs from her new album, while also indulging a typical desire for known and loved hits. She also took on difficult personal topics: dealing with someone else’s bad moral choices for the first time, celebrating the feminine in a landmine of hatred, highlighting the importance of memory in the transience of our lives evoking the emotion associated with finding oneself on the brink of destruction.

A brief intermission gave way to the excited chatter of a happy crowd, which included young and old, from all walks of life, then resumed to the second half of the show. In addition to inviting audience members on stage, McLachlan also picked questions from the audience out of a hat. Answering questions ranging from silly to sublime, she talked about the first concert she ever went to, her favorite song, and she deflected-with good humor-some more intimate questions launched into a public space.  She talked about her father in the context of a mother with a big personality, describing the development of an appreciation for her father in retrospect, keying in on that inevitable human trait of truly appreciating something only after it is gone. Her easy conversational style complemented the concepts she focuses on in her music; a brilliant expression of what really matters in the impermanence of life, expressed in heartfelt song under the moonlight, emanating skyward within the Red Rocks of Colorado.

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Category: What's Up?, National News

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