Saturday, June 25, 2016

Incredible concert (Sarah at the Jazz Fest)

Actually several of us at work stayed up far too late watching the Brexit results come in.  While it doesn't really affect us that much, we are incorrigible policy wonks (as well as instinctual metropolitan thinkers who thought that the EU, for all its faults, was a project worth salvaging).  So it was a relief to be able to listen to an incredible concert Friday night.

While it was not jazz by any stretch of the imagination (and there have already been a few articles written on this topic), Sarah McLachlan was one of the headliners of the Toronto Jazz Festival last night.

This set-list is not at all in order, aside from the first two songs and then the last song before the encores.  I think Building a Mystery was 3rd, but I wouldn't swear to it.  Here goes:
In Your Shoes
Building a Mystery  
Drawn to the Rhythm   
Hold On    
Good Enough   
I Will Remember You
Prince cover - Nothing Compares 2 You
Loving You is Easy
Into the Fire     
Sweet Surrender    
World on Fire    
Fear (remix version)
Beautiful Girl

Song for My Father
Ice Cream
The Sound That Love Makes (Sarah on ukulele)

It is very possible I have made a mistake and she didn't perform one of the above songs, but I am telling myself she played all of these.  She also played a brand new song, but I can't remember the title.  She more or less played all her singles that cracked the top 20, with the possible exception of  Stupid and Fallen.  For that matter, she probably did play Stupid, but I will wait to see if anyone else posts an actual review of the concert or a better set list before I correct this one.

It appears that she played 5 songs from Shine On, but only 1 (or possibly 2) from Laws of Illusion.  She did note that she wanted us to go out feeling relatively upbeat, which is the main reason she holds back and plays Ice Cream in the encore.  (She is well aware that most of her songs are about break-up, pain and recovery.  Though she gets a lot less flak for it than Taylor Swift for example.)

Toronto was the first stop on a new tour, and this is actually the first time that she has played with this line-up, so that was impressive.  I thought her voice was incredible (especially on Nothing Compares 2 You), though she said she'd had laryngitis for quite some time and that she had to cheat on a few notes.  Also, some of the songs were rearranged a bit differently, most notably Sweet Surrender was played as a solo piano piece and was slower and much darker than the single.  Also during Angel, part of the time she was dueting with her guitar player.  I know that she said she wasn't going to change anything to fit into a jazz festival, but it would have been so awesome for her to attempt Someone to Watch Over Me for instance.  Perhaps some other time.

I saw Sarah at a Christmas concert in Toronto in 1993.  I assume she played a few of her hits, but mostly she was doing Christmas-y music, backed by the Creegan Brothers.  The rest of the Barenaked Ladies appeared and did a couple of songs as well.  This seems to have vanished into the mists of time, but I was definitely there.  In fact, one of the guys in our group had a bit too much to drink and nearly got into a fight (partly because he wouldn't stop trying to sing along with Sarah...).  Well, feel free to correct me if I am wrong about this or the set-list above.  I probably have seen her enough times.  (I am certainly not an obsessed stalker like the man who inspired Possession.  Sarah had quite a bit of between song banter, including how she got a bit queasy whenever anyone told her they played Possession at their wedding reception.)  What I am holding out for is to try to catch Bruce Cockburn on his next show (when he is playing with a band, not as a solo act) and Leonard Cohen.  I think then I will have truly punched by CanCon card.

I don't know for sure if I have been inside the Sony Centre before, but I think probably not.  I was really wowed by this mural inside the Sony Centre called The 7 Lively Arts by York Wilson.  Here is an article about the mural,* and I'll post an image below, though it really ought to be seen in person to grasp its size.

* There is one weird bit in the article about how A.J. Casson was the last-living member of the Group of Seven, which is true in that he died in 1992, long after the rest of the members.  But first -- he wasn't an original member of the Group of Seven, and second -- several members of the group were still alive in 1958, so he certainly wouldn't have been looked upon as the "last link" at that time.

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