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Saint Louis Fans Enjoyed A Beautiful Evening With Sarah McLachlan Monday

Sarah McLachlan performing at Saint Louis Music Park Monday. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

 

–by Randy Thompson

–photos by Laura Tucker / Laura Tucker Photography

 

Imagine spending a cool, comfortable, evening with a pleasant breeze wafting through your hair, the scent of sizzling steaks in the air, watching a full moon, and listening to an incredible night of music and stories to the light of beautiful patio lanterns. All while sitting with more than 4,500 of your friends, and one critically acclaimed music superstar and her band. That is exactly what it felt like as Sarah McLachlan brought her acclaimed Fumbling Towards Ecstasy Tour to the St Louis Music Park Monday night.

Sarah McLachlan performing at Saint Louis Music Park Monday. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

The opening act, Feist, was forced to cancel due to illness. So, it became an evening with Sarah McLachlan. As the lights dropped the last moments of an eclipse coming to totality shone on the central video screen at the back of the stage.  Sarah stepped out, the crowd came to its feet, and she began singing one of her many hits, “Sweet Surrender”, to begin the night of musical memories.

Sarah McLachlan performing at Saint Louis Music Park Monday. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

Sarah McLachlan is not only an incredible singer with a wide vocal range, but she is a heartfelt storyteller who holds nothing back. During the first half of the concert, which was a compilation of her many hits, she shared stories and songs with us about her life with her daughters, (“Beautiful Girl”), mistakes that she has made in relationships, (“Adia”), and the experience of suffering through a cancer journey and subsequent loss of her father to that disease, (“Song for My Father”). Each song is a story that recalls something in her life and in ours.

Sarah McLachlan performing at Saint Louis Music Park Monday. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

Sarah McLachlan not only has a beautiful voice, but she is a multi-instrumentalist who played the piano, as well as electric and acoustic guitars at different times throughout the evening. McLachlan flowed throughout her set with familiar songs from her past albums.  After an hour of playing and a clothing change (insisted upon by her daughter) she moved into the songs from “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy”. The songs from this album continue to ring true after 30 years, and they still touch the soul in a very meaningful way.

Sarah McLachlan performing at Saint Louis Music Park Monday. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

Although much of her music is anthemic, and gentle, she is supported by an amazing band, who at times brought the music up a notch with soulful energy, and searing guitars played by Luke Doucet and Lyle Workman. It was something of a surprise when they would transition into a very high energy, rocking group. But they can also settle in and set the tone with easy-going grooves, excellent musicianship, and solid vocal accompaniment. Sarah’s backup singer, Melissa McClellan, has a voice that harmonizes perfectly on songs like “Answer” and “Fear”. The drummer, Matt Starr, keeps a perfect syncopated beat throughout all of her songs and the keyboardist, Vince Jones, keeps the melodies flowing.

Sarah McLachlan performing at Saint Louis Music Park Monday. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

Sarah McLachlan knows her audience, and that audience is extremely comfortable with her. The house looked packed with people standing up in the back rows. The fans often had their arms around each other and were swaying and swinging along with her. There was one song, “Ice Cream”, that she specifically requested that we all join in and sing along with, bringing everyone together in a shared moment of joy and ecstasy.

Sarah McLachlan performing at Saint Louis Music Park Monday. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

The music that she played for us tonight shared incredible messages of love, hope, and pain. She weaved her magic by telling us stories that connect us. She talked about arguments with her daughters, family counseling, losing loved ones, making serious mistakes with her friends and relationships, and yet, in the end focuses on how much joy she gets from her daughter helping pick out her wardrobe for the tour. She also reminisced about memories of her dad, and her work with her foundation, the Sarah McLachlan School of Music.

Sarah McLachlan performing at Saint Louis Music Park Monday. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

The band ended the evening with “Gravity” (a new song from her upcoming album) and her hit “Angel”.  We left the music park, our hearts filled with memories, tears, and joy, hoping we can all come back some day and sit in her backyard again, savoring every moment.

Check out the full gallery of photos after the setlist below.

 

Sarah McLachlan Set List

 

Sweet Surrender

Building a Mystery

I Will Remember You

Drifting

Song for My Father

World on Fire

Adia

Beautiful Girl

Answer

Witness

Fumbling Towards Ecstasy Set

Possession

Wait

Plenty

Good Enough

Mary

Elsewhere

Circle

Ice

Hold On

Ice Cream

Fear

Fumbling Towards Ecstasy

Encore

Gravity

Angel

 

 

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