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Mama’s big night out: A Sarah McLachlan Concert

Sarah McLachlan on stage
Sarah McLachlan performing with a symphony.

I’ve never tailgated before, but last week, I finally got the chance. One of my best friends from college went with me to a Sarah McLachlan concert at an outdoor venue near our house. We had a little wine, some awesome Chipotle, heard some Sarah McLachlan music flowing from other cars and then went to the concert and had a great time. But it wasn’t because of the music. I think the concert lack…something. Namely the symphony.

I’ve seen Sarah McLachlan several time, most recently in 2011 with the same college friend. At the time, she was playing with a live band. This concert was so appealing because it was with a symphony. I love symphonies. I was excited to hear Sarah McLachlan music with a symphony this time.

We had lawn seats in the outdoor arena. While we arrived after the opening act, we grabbed a plot of grass on the side of the stage, where we enjoyed the first part of the concert. At intermission, we moved to the other side of the stage where we had some acquaintances meet up with us.

I found the concert set list on setlist.FM and it was pretty much the same as I found online. Every single one of the songs by Sarah McLachlan was exactly as you would expect to hear it. Except I expected to hear a symphony. I didn’t. Maybe it was that we had lawn seats and the sound didn’t make it back there. Maybe it was because the sound system was picking them up. I don’t know.

I read some reviews online that had mentioned this same problem, but I thought maybe it was because they were a professional music reviewer. I figured my untuned ear would probably be fine with the sound. I just felt like there needed to be more. I was thrilled that my ticket was only $25. Especially because the concert started at 7:30 p.m., had an intermission and was still over by 9:50 p.m. And that included three encore songs.


Not my typical Sarah McLachlan concert. Maybe I’ll stick to her CDs from now on. I’ll have to see the next time she comes to town.