The ever beautiful, always talented, Canadian musician kicks off Jazz festival in a nearly sold out Sony Center with fans young and old, who were clearly full of excitement. How does an artist described more as a soft rock, singer-song writer begin Jazz festival? She does it with grace and joy as she takes her place on the stage expressing how happy she is to be playing and be apart of jazz festival. “I’m obviously not a jazz artist but we are still really, really pleased to be here and be apart of this festival and I hope that you will be entertained”. With the first note she had the entire theater captivated reminding the excited fans what Jazz festival is really about – bringing people together to enjoy live music and to become aware of other artists. Let’s keep the live music alive.
The atmosphere in the Sony Center was very relaxed and at the same time you could see the fan’s excitement. Starting off with a fan favorite and an older of her songs, McLachlan sang “Possession”. With a different, yet equally beautiful, arrangement of the song the audience immediately knew that they were in for a fantastic show. Never disappointing, always confident and oh so talented, Sarah McLachlan kept her audience engaged and entertained the entire concert.
Following with a slowed down version of her song “Broken Heart” everyone could hear just how perfect her voice sounded.
Constantly reminding the audience how most of her songs were about heart-break and sorrow she kept everyone entertained with jokes and stories of said heart-break and loss and how it makes for perfect song writing material. Next a clearly loved song energized the crowd – “Building a Mystery”. As with her first two songs she changed the arrangement slightly creating a refreshing feeling to the song. It is clear that an artist has reached a wonderful place in their career when they can go out on tour without releasing a new album but keep the music sounding fresh and at the same time appeasing fans that love their old stuff. Now that is talent, that is exactly what Sarah McLachlan has done.
The crowd was next treated to a beautiful song from her most recent album called “Turn The Lights Down Low”. Then It was as if the audience was all of a sudden taken back to the 90’s as she sang a perfect “Elsewhere”. If while at this concert you were to take a look around the audience you would see fans of all ages. You would hear fans singing along to their favorite song with emotion making it clear that they have taken that song and put it in a special place in their heart. You would witness people crying and laughing all the while completely infatuated with this truly talented Canadian artist. The connection she creates at her concerts is truly amazing.
On to another fan favorite “Adia”. Followed by a song that she hasn’t sung live in years; “I will remember you”. Sarah McLachlan certainly was giving her fans a concert of a life time. With mixture of both older and newer songs, change in arrangements of favorite songs and her voice sounding amazing this really was an awesome show. What a way to kick off Jazz fest in Toronto.
She went on to sing “Beautiful girl” likely creating tears in anyone who has a daughter in the audience. Such beauty in her music. The audience became apart of something absolutely amazing, a perfect Prince tribute where she sang “Nothing compares to U”. At this point you could hear a pin drop the fans were so respectfully quiet.
“Hold on”, “World on Fire”, “Fallen” and “Sweet Surrender” all came next and Sarah McLachlan was on fire.
Keeping things fresh and interesting the audience was treated to a new song that was of course very pleasing.
Just when fans thought the concert couldn’t get any better – it did. She sang “Loving you is Easy”, “Monsters” and a version of “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy” that was as beautiful as watching a perfect sunset would be. Another older song that fans love “Fear” and she ended with a beautiful duet with her fellow singer for the evening, Butterfly Boucher. A version of this classic McLachlan song “Angel” left fans almost in tears and certainly reminding all the reasons they fell in love with her music in the first place. With fans encouraging and cheering the band returned for an encore.
The encore included: “Song For My Father”, “Ice cream” and the perfect evening ended with her song “The Sound that Love Makes”. But, of course, not before she interrupted the song to introduce her band. Folks this is how it is done, this is what live music is all about.
“We love you Sarah!!” Thank you for a wonderful start to the Toronto Jazz festival.