• Christine

Sarah McLachlan And The Philly Pops!

Updated: Apr 19

Sarah McLachlan has been one of my favorite artists for decades. Even before I started going to as many concerts as I go to today, McLachlan was always a show I went to see when she came into town.


However, it’s been a couple of years since I’ve seen McLachlan live. Unless you count her Christmas album in 2016, she hasn’t released any new music since the Shine On album in 2014. And the last couple of times she’s come to town, I just felt like the tickets were overpriced.


But, when the newest live music venue in Philly – The Met – added her to their line up, I was intrigued. The Met feels like it would be the perfect room for her to play in. The acoustics are amazing, and the room feels intimate.


Still, tickets were expensive and I didn’t buy when they went on sale.


But, lo and behold, when LiveNation held their annual $20 all-in ticket sale, one of the shows available was this one. Between that and some money I had left on a gift card, the tickets were free. I couldn’t resist!


With The Philly Pops accompanying McLachlan, this had the promise to be a great show! Keep reading to find out if it met my expectations.


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THE VENUE

The Met is Philadelphia’s newest live music venue. Located on North Broad Street, The Met has been open a little less than a year. It’s an amazing place to see live music. The inside is absolutely beautiful and the acoustics are incredible.


But, there are some things to watch out for. This is a Live Nation venue and that means one thing – it’s expensive. Drinks are expensive. Ticket fees are expensive. And parking is ridiculously expensive. Before you go to a show there, be sure to check out my tips in the article I wrote on the David Gray show. You can check it out here.

THE SHOW


SARAH MCLACHLAN


ABOUT THE ARTIST

Sarah McLachlan was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. McLachlan had an interest in music from very early on. In fact, she started playing the ukulele at the age of 4. Throughout her childhood, she studied classical guitar and piano, as well as voice. .


McLachlan’s first endeavor into the music business was fronting a band called The October Game. After the band’s first concert, McLachlan (and not the band) was offered a recording contract with the record label Nettwerk. However, McLachlan’s parents insisted she finish high school and one year of college before allowing her to move to Vancouver to begin her music career.


After moving to Vancouver, McLachlan released her first album – Touch – in 1987. It was followed by 1991’s release – Solace – which first brought McLachlan some recognition in her homeland of Canada.


But, it was her 1993 release – Fumbling Towards Ecstasy – that brought McLachlan international fame. The song “Possession” (one of my personal favorites) was a huge hit. She followed that success up with the 1997 release of Surfacing. The album earned McLachlan two Grammy awards, and was another big commercial success.


McLachlan’s next studio album didn’t come until 2003, when she released Afterglow. The album didn’t have the same critical or commercial success as some of her other work. In fact, other than a Christmas album – Wintersong – and a rarities and greatest hits record, McLachlan didn’t release any original music on a studio album until 2010’s Laws of Illusion.

McLachlan’s last studio album (outside of another Christmas album) was released in 2014 – Shine On.


THE PERFORMANCE

After getting soaked walking to the venue during an unexpected rainstorm, we took our seats shortly before 8 p.m. The stage was set to accommodate the musicians from the Philly Pops, as well as McLachlan and her band.

Sarah McLachlan

The stage was set inside The Met for the show!

I’m glad we got to our seats when we did, as the show started just after 8 p.m. The Philly Pops took the stage first, followed by McLachlan’s band and then McLachlan herself. McLachlan looked elegant in her beautiful dress, but added her own flare by being barefoot.

Sarah McLachlan

Sarah McLachlan started the show with her band and the Philly Pops accompanying her.

McLachlan wasted no time diving into some of her most popular songs. She kicked off the show with one of my personal favorites – “Possession” – followed by “I Will Remember You” and “Adia”. McLachlan said that she had been doing this for so long, that she often got lost in the chronology of the various songs. When introducing “I Will Remember You”, she said she knew she wrote and recorded it before she starting plucking her eyebrows.

Sarah McLachlan

McLachlan switched throughout the show from playing piano, to playing guitar, to just being on vocals.

McLachlan shared stories about almost every song that she played. She shared that the song “In Your Shoes” was about Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in 2012 by the Taliban as she rode home from school. McLachlan also spoke about her father, who she lost to cancer, and that she was so thankful that she got to sing “Song For My Father” in honor of him.


At age 51, McLachlan certainly hasn’t lost any of the power of her voice. Instead, she has definitely gained power in herself. She spoke throughout the show about some of the challenges she had gone through and that she was finally feeling “solid” about herself as she introduced the song “Rivers of Love”.

Sarah McLachlan

McLachlan hasn’t lost any of her vocal power after 30 years.

After a 20 minute intermission, McLachlan returned to the stage with her hit song “Building A Mystery”. She then joked and said that if we hadn’t figured it out by now, she loved writing depressing songs. She said that the most depressing song she had ever written was after watching the movie “Leaving Las Vegas”, which inspired her to write “Sweet Surrender”.

Sarah McLachlan

McLachlan behind the piano during “Sweet Surrender”.

McLachlan is not afraid to speak her mind, and with the latest mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton fresh on everyone’s mind, she spoke about the state of the world and the need for gun control before playing “World On Fire”.


The show did wind up on a happy note, with McLachlan inviting the crowd to sing along on “Ice Cream”, which I think is such a sweet little song.


After a very quick encore break, McLachlan returned with an amazing version of “Fear”. Her voice and her ability to hit those high notes is incredible. I had goosebumps!


The show wrapped up with the beautiful and haunting “Angel”. McLachlan let the spotlight shine on her very talented back-up singer. The two of them had amazing harmonies throughout the show, but it was really featured in this last song.

Sarah McLachlan

The lights and the amazing harmonies added to the beauty of closer “Angel”.

Overall, I thought this was a fantastic show. A little low key compared to what I normally see (I’m certainly not used to sitting for the entire concert), but an amazing performance. The Philly Pops sounded terrific and the arrangements of the songs was on point!


McLachlan has a few more dates in August on this latest tour. If you get the chance to go, I highly recommend doing it! You can find out more on McLachlan’s website.


Set List (click on any link to purchase the song directly on Amazon): Possession, I Will Remember You, Adia, In Your Shoes, Song For My Father, Fallen, Forgiveness, Rivers of Love Intermission Break Building a Mystery, Hold On, U Want Me 2, Answer, Beautiful Girl, Sweet Surrender, Loving You Is Easy, World On Fire, Ice Cream Encore: Fear, Love Come, Angel


Are you a Sarah McLachlan fan? Have you seen her on this tour? What did you think? Let us know! Please comment below or e-mail me at tips2livebywriter@gmail.com.


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