Published Jul 26, 2010During the summers of 1997 to 1999, Sarah McLachlan co-founded the all-female travelling music festival known as Lilith Fair. Over a decade later, the women's gala has been resurrected, regardless of being plagued by catatonic ticket sales and the eventual loss of artists like Heart, La Roux and Kelly Clarkson, among others, from the lineup.
As part of the Canadian leg of the '90s ladies nostalgia show, McLachlan and company hit the stages of Toronto's lakeside Molson Canadian Amphitheatre while the estrogen-saturated crowd braved the weather and refused to let a little rain dampen their spirits. Main-stage artist Chantal Kreviazuk offered up placid singles "Feels Like Home" (in which McLachlan joined her in a duet) and "Leaving on a Jet Plane," while Toronto's own Lights sprinkled the crowd with her own electro-pop sound.
As night fell and the rain subsided, R&B sensation Mary J. Blige lit up the stage and pretty much dominated the entire event, offering up an emotive rendition of U2's "One" and her soul-shouting interpretation of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." As the force of her voice reverberated through the ground, she whirled the calming concert into a full-on effervescent rock event. She also livened up the ladies with hits like "Real Love," "Family Affair," and "No More Drama," which brought her to tears as she held her face in her hands during the last few moments.
Despite Miss Mary's transcendent upstage, devotees managed to save some worship for headliner Sarah McLachlan when she finally took the stage with her melodious ballad, "Angel." She included a invigorating merge of classic hits like, "Building a Mystery," "Aida," "Possession" and "Ice Cream," along with a few selections from her first album in seven years, Laws of Illusion. At one point, she told the crowd "This is so healing and beautiful. I'm so glad to be here right now."
Closing the show with a rousing encore of Patti Smith's glorious anthem "Because the Night," McLachlan and all the day's performers united arms, leaving everyone fulfilled with a blissful sentiment of female fusion.