March 20th, 2005 at 1:18 pm (Live theatre)
This is the third time I have seen Sarah McLachlan live. Last year, when she was at the State Theatre, we went twice – mainly because our seats for the first show were in the second back row, so when a second show was announced I was first in line at Ticketek and got in the second front row. We had originally planned to then sell off the other tickets, but in the end it seemed like too much hard work, so we went twice and loved it both times. Probably it was excessive to go a third time, but who knows how long it will be before she comes to Australia again – if ever. Also, we thought it would be a buzz to see her at the Opera House.
Normally when we go to the Opera House we’re seeing something in the Drama Theatre, or the Playhouse, which are off to the side. But this was in the Concert Hall, so we got to go in properly through the front door. (And I have to say that the Ladies’ Toilets are much nicer there than at the Drama Theatre/Playhouse. Obviously music lovers rate higher quality conveniences than theatregoers.)
It was more or less the same playlist as her concerts last year, but the order was shuffled around a bit, and some of the presentations were different. There may also have been some songs added or removed – I don’t have 100% recall of each and every song she did.
She described it as her favourite songs from her last three albums. Sadly, this meant no “I Will Not Forget You”, no “Lost” and no “Back Door Man” – three of my favourites, but all from her second album, Solace. She obviously also rates “Full of Grace”, from Surfacing, lower than I do (or maybe she just feels its been a bit overplayed). And while it was to be expected that she would have most of the tracks from her most recent album, Afterglow, I was disappointed that “Time” was missing, since it’s one of my top 3 from this album.
On the plus side, though, the performances of “Push” and “Answer” (my other two Afterglow favourites) were wonderful. I’m pretty sure that at the State Theatre she had “Angel” as her final encore – here it was much earlier in the playlist. It’s one of those songs that when you know and love it from the album, you (or, at least, I) can’t quite accept it being sung even slightly differently, so while it was beautiful, it just wasn’t quite right. OTOH, “Fear” was pretty incredible, as was “Hold On” and “World on Fire”.
The absolute highlight, though, was “Possession”. I have always loved the piano version, and been a bit ho-hum about other versions. At the State Theatre she did a totally full-on version of it, which you could feel right in your stomach, and which, somewhat to my own surprise, I absolutely loved. This time it was different – she started out with the beautiful piano version, and segued into the dramatic style. Taken as a whole, it just blew me away.