Went to the Sarah McLachlan concert in Raleigh Friday evening. While we’re both fans, neither of us had seen her in person before now, and I was a little worried about how the whole singer/songwriter thing would come off in an arena (the RBC Center…or Centre, since RBC stands for Royal Bank of Canada).
Of course, I had forgotten that Sarah is Big in Canada™, and that usually means Good Live, no matter where you see the act. (Think Rush.) The RBC Center is a good venue for that sort of concert — it was built recently to house hockey and basketball, meaning the seats would need to be fairly close to the court area. She hit the usual hits, as well as a fair amount of material from the latest album, much as one would expect, and the crowd was really into it. We got two encores, one that was probably planned and one that perhaps was not. (Oddly enough, someone threw a broken lighter up onstage during the concert. I’m not sure what that was about. Those floor tickets were too expensive to buy just to show up and throw hard objects.)
Anyway, we’ve been having pretty good luck with arena concerts. While most we’ve gone to have been in the outdoor amphitheater type setting that seems to be ubiquitous, we have been to see Bob Dylan in Winston-Salem — which was probably my favorite concert, with near-front-row tickets for Tom Petty coming in a close second — and now Sarah in arenas, and those have worked out well.
Check out the tour if you can. It’s ending its North American run in September, so you’ll want to get tickets now. Hopefully she’ll start coming through here regularly, like Petty does.
Note: I will have to give the concert an award for most gratuitous use of a glowing stump, however. During the setup, we watched a fellow working diligently in a giant tree stump on the stage. The stump’s interior was covered in a fabric that was underlit with red light, suggesting lava…in a stump. So, you figure something cool is going to happen, right?
During the middle of the set, something starts to rise up out of the stump. Is it lava…smoke…a special guest star? Nope, it’s a drum set. To supplement the perfectly good drum set already being played by Ashwin Sood, who promptly got up and went over to play the new drum set with whisks instead of sticks. Oh well, I guess there’s an advantage to being married to the lead singer. 🙂