I spent this past weekend in Kansas City and had a great time. Like I said before – good times, good friends, good tunes. As a special treat for my birthday, my wonderful Pup took me to see Sarah McLachlan. Although I have been in love with her music for 13 years, I have never had the opportunity to see her live until now.
The concert was phenomenal. The entire production was perfect and seamless, the sound was great, our seats were great – what a show!
With my background in theater and set design in particular, I have a tendency to take in every detail of the way a stage is set. Her set was awesome – one of the nicest I've ever seen.
As you can see in the picture above (although it does not do it justice), there are three giant trees that make up the framework for the backdrop, the branches spreading out over the heads of the band. On the two backdrops between the trees, they would project images – everything from live video of Sarah and the band members to psychedelic images to pictures, all in perfect synch with the music. At the sides of the stage, there were giant boulders, speckled with grass and moss, which the performers would sit on while performing. The whole thing had a very forest feel to it, and it was absolutely beautiful.
Although obviously choreographed, the performers moved around the stage in a casual way, almost as if they were strolling along. Sarah would sometimes just sing, sometimes play acoustic or electric guitar and sing, or sit at her piano and sing.
One of the things I liked most about the concert was the way that she would talk to the audience between songs. She talked to us just like we were a small, intimate group of friends. She told stories about the various songs and what her inspiration for them was, which ones were her favorites, becoming a mother and the effect of that on her career, traveling with her family. She is very charming and witty, sometimes plunking around a little on the piano as she talked. I can completely relate to what she said about her love songs – most of her songs are about love, and she tries to write a happy love song, only to have it go sour, and "somebody always gets screwed in the end." Isn't that just how love is? It is the most wonderful, exciting, horrible, frustrating, attractive thing in the world. It tortures us, but we can't live without it – such a cruel contradiction.
Sarah's lyrics have always touched me deeply. I think you have to have experienced some serious depression, some major strife to truly appreciate them, but I often feel like she is singing straight from my heart. So many of her songs, like Train Wreck, Answer, and Perfect Girl, are so dead-on with what is going on with me right now, it's uncanny.
'Cause I can only tell you what I know
That I need you in my life
When the stars have all gone out
You'll still be burning so bright
Cast me gently
For the night has been unkind
At the risk of sounding corny, I will tell you that I do and probably always will look at Sarah as a kindred soul. There is an undeniable connection there – like I know exactly what she was feeling when a particular passage was written. This concert was, in many ways, a dream come true. Thank you so much, Pup, for this wonderful birthday gift.