Sarah McLachlan @ Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver - May 23rd 2024 © Jamie Taylor

Live Review: Sarah McLachlan @ Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver – May 23rd 2024

Last night, Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum was graced by the ethereal presence of Sarah McLachlan. The iconic Canadian songstress, whose career spans over three decades, delivered a performance that was both intimate and grand, showcasing her enduring talent and connection with her hometown audience.

Sarah McLachlan’s journey in the music industry began in the late 1980s, but it was the 1990s that cemented her status as a musical powerhouse. Known for her hauntingly beautiful voice and deeply emotional songwriting, she has given us timeless hits like “Angel,” “Building a Mystery,” and “Sweet Surrender.” Her influence extends beyond music; she’s a philanthropist and the founder of the Lilith Fair, a tour that celebrated female musicians.

As the lights dimmed in the Coliseum, the anticipation was palpable. McLachlan opened the night with “Sweet Surrender,” her voice immediately captivating the audience. The transition into “Building a Mystery,” with McLachlan strumming her acoustic guitar, was seamless, setting the tone for an evening that was both reflective and inspiring.

The respect and admiration from the audience were evident. Unlike typical concert-goers, many chose to remain seated, fully absorbing the beauty and elegance of the performance. McLachlan’s voice, transcendent as ever, filled the venue with a purity that seemed to touch every soul present. She was clearly enjoying herself on stage, sharing smiles and anecdotes between songs, creating an atmosphere that felt as personal as a living room concert.

Her setlist was a carefully curated journey through her career. “I Will Remember You,” performed with McLachlan at the piano, was a poignant highlight, reminding everyone of her incredible ability to convey deep emotion through her music. Songs like “Drifting” and “World on Fire” followed, each showcasing her versatility as she cycled between singing, playing the guitar, and playing the piano.

A particularly moving moment came with “Song for My Father,” dedicated to her late father. The raw emotion in her voice made it one of the standout performances of the night. As the concert progressed, McLachlan’s voice seemed to grow even more beautiful, a testament to how it has matured over the years without losing its enchanting quality.

The evening reached a peak with a full set from her critically acclaimed album “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy.” Songs like “Possession” and “Ice Cream” had long-time fans singing along, while newer fans appreciated the depth and breadth of her discography. McLachlan’s rendition of “Mary” on the piano was particularly touching, her voice soaring effortlessly through the notes, leaving the audience in awe.

The encore brought two special moments: a new song, “Gravity,” which was performed on the piano, hinting at the exciting direction of her future work, and a heartwarming rendition of “Angel.” For this closing number, she was joined by Nirvana, a talented student from her school of music, and Melissa McClelland. The harmonies were flawless, and the performance was nothing short of magical.

As the final notes of “Angel” lingered in the air, McLachlan took a moment to thank her band, the crew, and the audience for their unwavering support. The entire night was a reminder of why Sarah McLachlan remains a beloved figure in the music world. Her ability to connect with her audience, both through her music and her genuine, warm presence, ensures that each of her performances is a memorable experience.

Sarah McLachlan’s return to Vancouver was more than just a concert; it was a celebration of her enduring legacy and a promise of more beautiful music to come.

Photos © Jamie Taylor

Owner + Editor In Chief + Concert Photographer

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