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Music Saves Disorganized Lilith Fair

Concert Review by Jason Clevett (From June 2010 Online)
Music Saves Disorganized Lilith Fair
Image by: Steve Polyak
Music Saves Disorganized Lilith Fair
Image by: Jason Clevett
Music Saves Disorganized Lilith Fair
Image by: Jason Clevett
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The first date of its return to the summer concert circuit in 11 years, the road to Lilith Fair in Calgary was a rocky one. Amidst low ticket sales at many stops, complaints of high ticket prices (as much as $270) and untrue rumours of its cancellation 48 hours before the show, it seemed as if the event was doomed from the start.

Things did not start well, with lengthy line ups at will-call (20 minutes for us to move forward in a line of 8 people) and a venue in McMahon Stadium that you would think had never seen any kind of event before. But despite all the grumbling, the end result was something pretty cool.

Unfortunately due to time constraints, line ups, and a press conference I missed the festival portion, held in the parking lot, featuring booths and artists like Ash Koley and Frazey Ford. The main stage portion kicked off with Colbie Caillat, who unfortunately we also missed, but of who we heard very positive reviews.

The weather remained perfect as the big guns came out with Erykah Badu, kicking off her laid back R&B set with 20 Feet Tall. The audience seemed content to enjoy the sunshine and take in the music, although a few people did dance in their seats (including one fellow in a blue shirt who Badu made a point of shouting out to).

What did bring the 9,000 in attendance to their feet was Sheryl Crow, another Lilith original, who kicked her set off at a keyboard with Our Love Is Fading from her upcoming 100 Miles To Memphis album. Her second song, the hit Everyday Is A Winding Road gave the evening’s best “awww” factor as her adorably cute 3 year old son danced around on stage, hitting a tambourine and shaking maracas. If one hasn't followed Crow closely it is easy to forget how many hits she has produced, so songs like Soak Up The Sun and If It Makes You Happy quickly jogged one’s memory. Crow showed her sense of humor during Strong Enough, in which she talked about needing a man. “My standards are low. A job will do. I have a toddler and a baby,” she joked. The fact that songs like Leaving Las Vegas and Kid Rock duet Picture didn't make the set, speaks to how much material she has produced (and how short her set was.)

If Crow brought the crowd to life, then Sugarland lead by the incredible Jennifer Nettles brought them up to another level. As someone whose only real experience with the band is their hit Who Says (You Can't Go Home) - a duet with Bon Jovi, appearing late in the set - I have to admit I was impressed. Nettles commands the stage completely; she has incredible charisma. She could just as easily be fronting a rock band instead of country with how she swayed and swivelled to the music.

Finally, almost 25 minutes after her scheduled start time, Sarah McLachlan returned to the stage in Calgary for the first time in six years. Her set began simply, with her sitting at a piano backed up by two singers and performing Angels. She commented earlier that she had laryngitis earlier this week, but her incredible voice was in perfect form. It was a spectacular start to an amazing set that blending songs from her new album Laws of Illusion, like Loving You Is Easy and Forgiveness.  This was blended with her much loved catalogue of songs like Building a Mystery, Possession and I Will Remember You. Seemingly in no time, however, she abruptly stated “I've just been told that we have one more song and they are kicking us off because of curfew,” followed by a massive chorus of boos.

 

After Adia she scrambled back on stage saying, “they told us we have time for one more” and lead the audience in singing Ice Cream. The intended finale, featuring all of the artists from the show, was also scrapped - another unfortunate circumstance that ended an otherwise amazing evening of music on a slightly sour note.(GC)

Image by: Jason Clevett
Image by: Jason Clevett
Image by: Jason Clevett
Image by: Jason Clevett
Image by: Jason Clevett
Image by: Jason Clevett
Image by: Jason Clevett

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