Tuesday, June 1, 2004

i will stare at the sun
until it's light dosen't blind me

that's a sarah lyric. it's lovely isn't it. this is wot i sat thru on monday.

but first..

on my way there, i almost got into an accident. was at the stop line, looked right, then left, all clear and i took the car forward. note to self: always check right again. and then left again. because a ute almost knocked into my side. good thing he braked, but im shure he must've been very unhappy. and.. i don't like making people unhappy on the roads. for the brief period, its as if i wished i never could drive in the first place. its like, i don't even deserve to be on the road, being a hazard like this. well, i thank God i'm still here, and am inspired to be a better and safer driver.

somewhere in the middle with you..

so while we waited for sarah to appear, we were treated to a sister duo act who sang us maybe six songs. they were lovely, gracious and had great voices. somewhere like a cross between early sarah and jewel. great harmonies, and interesting solo acoustic guitar.. made me wanna go back to my early years of songwriting. not that i'm as good

and there is a love that's inherently given "wait"..

finally, after waiting for the band to appear to music by sigur ros over the PA, the first vestiges of last dance came up. this was the cue, that the band was finally walking in.
... ... ...
she opened the set with fallen. the first single off the new album. haha, seems she always opens with the first single. like for the mirrorball tour, she opened with "building a mystery". a welcomed change, and they really made the song sound good. im not too hot for the album musically and lyrically, but after last night, i felt different about it. and oh so blind. lyric: we all begin with good intent when love is young and raw

world's on fire was next. now this was one song that i liked from the new album, and it sounds even better live! or it was just being in the moment. brian minato didn't play the bass line that hooked me to this song in the first place. but sarah hit the notes in this melodic number that just put a smile on my face. lyric: stay close to me while the sky is falling

she did adia as her third number, which seems out of place to have it so early in the set. i didn't really think much of it, and she kept it pretty close to the original. lyric : it's easy we all falter, but does it matter?

the introduction for the fourth song was a familiar one, but she sang different lines. i knew i heard it somewhere before, that skeleton tune that backed her vocals. but when she played the first note on her acoustic guitar, i just knew that we were embarking on hold on. great great powerful number, she did everything she does for this song live, blistering lap steel solo by sean ashby, and is wot makes this song a great country rockin' number. lyric : what is it in me that refuses to believe?

i wasn't that familiar with the next song, perfect girl.. but when she sang that one line, it was bliss. there's something about sarah hitting those falsettos, and its moments like these that make a sarah song special. gorgeous stuff going on. lyric : everything will come around in time

this was an upbeat number, not especially a favourite (melancholy's still her best weapon). but yeah drifting does remind me of travis lyric : larger than life is your fiction in a universe made up of one

she introduced the next number, as the one love song that she wrote for her husband. and she said it didn't have the melancholy of her past songs. that it was self-depreciating, but that's wot its like when you have someone who lives and accepts who you are, loves you all the same and would wait the world for you. i guess that's wot made push special. her honest gratitude to the things that were important and stood by her. lyric : even when i have to push just to see how far you'll go

you couldn't miss the next song when she sings the title. a favourite from the brother's mcmullen soundtrack, i will remember you immediately roused up the audience's acknowledgement of a song they found familiar. haha, again my music snobbery is seen here, because how many people know the gems that are in sarah's discography. haha, but still, i guess it was a moment of familiarity for the majority of us, and importantly, people have a good night at the concert. lyric : don't let your love pass you by, weep not for the memories

she sang another song off her new album, and i really like the bassline off this track. it was even better seeing it live played by brian minato! for this song, he whipped out a red les paul bass that just kicked so much ass. it was really deep, i suspect it was tuned BEAD, but the hook in the bassline defintely catches my attention. and then they went into an extended jam at the end of it, and minato really shoved it into over drive by playing a really melodic line that just made me cheer in agreement. lyric : a wild fire born of frustration

by this time, sarah picks up her vox guitar (this is a cue on its own) and strums the starting chords to wait, my second favourite sarah song. when all we wanted was the dream, to have and to hold that precious little thing, like every generation yields, a new born hope unjaded by their years.. and i grow estatic, because she sings the tune of my heart. and this is just her solo, not many out there could recognise this number, and it made it even more special -) well, the band came in slow but their presence felt, and built its way all the way to the ending solo by sean ashby who pulled out all his stops of heavily sustained notes, infinte delays and an incredible wall of sound. its an intense moment, and like fire it's the intensity burning in our hearts. lyric : you know if i leave you now, it dosen't mean that i love you any less. it's just the state i'm in, i can't be good to anyone else like this.

fear was next, and was opened by minato's bass. its not really a solo, but it sets the mood for the song. after the opening lines, the keys and drums come in. the keyboard line is a freaky auto-wah sounding line, and it really is jarring, like its scraping the walls of your heart. sarah begins by singing low over her piano, but as the band slowly fades out, she walks back to the microphone, and bursts into the best vocal moment of the concert when she sings in a signature falsetto and holds that pitch for the entire duration of the song! this is shurely a highlight for me, her majesty displayed, and why she is who she is! defintely a favourite of mine, and the crowds. awesome awesome awesome!! i still hear that angelic voice in my hed.. lyric : but i fear, i have nothing left to lose here in this lonely place, there's nothing i'd like better than to fall

and if that wasn't enough, she opened elsewhere next. this is another massively guitar driven song, and well.. i really like the current guitar line-up that she has, because they just shine on songs like this. and the syncopation dished out by the band, just to emphasie a great hook, pushes you back into your seat as you squeal in acknowledgement. lyric : i know this love is passing time, passing thru like liquid, i'm drunken by desire.

everyone knows the next song! the opening chords to building a mystery are probably her most famous, especially when by the second note, the entire audience erupts in approval. well, its a great song, simple.. and when at first i didnt think anything special of it (sweet surrender was the song that generated my initial interest), i really grew to love it at the end of my seventeenth year. because at that time, i was sucha melancholic nut, and yeahhh.. haha, the song was like a wake up call to me, and it beautifully spoke to me word for word, wot my black heart was like, bashing up all the love that was around me that i just couldnt see. the other guitarist, luke duscent shared a beautiful solo here. made me wanna get a gretch guitar. tremendous that felt like it was gonna spin out of control. lyric : you strut your astor wear and a suicide poem, and a cross from a faith that died before Jesus came.

black and white was a real suprise to me! i had never heard this song live, but i loved it on surfacing. it had an awesome bassline on the record, but minato opted to use a synth bass for it. it didnt really cut it for me, but the song as whole was incredible. it has a bit of a dancey chill out vibe to it, and i guess ultimately is a keyboard song. but its really sarah's vocal counter melody that makes this a uniquely beautiful choice. lyric : everybody loves you when you're easy, so don't disappoint me

the synthesizers for sweet surrender generated the loudest response from the audience (with exception to the second encore). but yeah, this is simply the coolest simple song i feel. well, its just so propelling, and utilises heavily reverbed guitars to get that fantastic shimmer in between passeges. david kershaw, who plays the hammond b3 had a field day, and was going crazy everywhere. he really enjoyed this song, and it was a joy watching his enthusiasm toward it. this is a real favourite to me because of the lyrics -) i think luke duscent proceeded to flirt a lil with the backup vox toward the end of the song too. haha, and i thought he wanted to generate feedback from his guitar! sly fox... lyric : the life i left behind me is a cold room

as the guitars fade out, a drum machine fades in followed by the blows of ashwin sood's drum kit. i already know wot this song is. it's joined next by the whirling of kershaw's B3 and Vince Jone's string synth keyboard lines. the song is possession, where its a clue that the concert was nearing it's end. this is a MASSIVE song. its effectively B3 driven, and i love it for that. minato's bass is beautifully melodic as it drives the song in a counter melody. the interplay between bass and B3 are beautifully crafted. there's a highlight in the song when the entire band syncopates a stop, before relaunching slowly back into the song. and it closes in an immense rockstarish chaos. sean ashby by now has gone ballistic on his guitar and is just tearing thru his strings, bending them to effect maximum emotion. but for me, the smile is during minato's walking bass passage. lyric : and i would be the one, to hold you down, kiss you so hard i'll take your breath away

first encore
you had to cheer them back, i knew they were coming out, but we cheered anyway. -) and yeahh, the audience felt like it was tiring out, and so.. i guess that's why sarah came out with a smaller band. it was ice cream, and you dont need that many people to play this song. and interesting touch was having luke duscent play the xylaphone too. and as always, she'd ask the audience to the simple tune, which.. once again very few of us knew *beams*. but she'll still say it was "excellent singing". the courteous human being that she is. *heh* lyric : it's a long way down to the place where we started from

they played stupid next, which is probably the heaviest song off the new album. it was very rocked out, which i attribute to sean ashby. haha, it was gorgeous, and for a moment there, it was like a serious moment for a split second, like there was a speck of anger usually unfamiliar with sarah songs. edgy, always a good point in my books. hahaha. lyric : everything changes everything falls apart

the drum machine repeated its mechanical beat. i knew this was it before luke duscent closed us with the signature guitar riff of fumbling towards ecstacy, the song i will have at my wedding. this is my favourite song so far, and never fails to lift me up to places i'd never been. they'll always close as a band with this, i guess because its so grand, and it must be a ball to play it. it's a song of hope, of not fearing the one thing that so many of us have lost our hearts to. that love is not a game, but something pure, frail.. and makes you want to find it. it really is a beautiful song, and all the guitar solos in the world, just cant tear the simple beauty away from this tune. lyric : all the fear has left me now, i'm not frightened anymore, its my heart that pounds beneath my flesh, it's my heart the pushes out this breath. and if i shed a tear i wont cage it, i won't fear love. and if i feel a rage i won't deny it, i won't fear love. companion to our demons, they will dance, and we will play with chairs, candles and cloth, making darkness into day, it'll be easy to move upstream or down without a thought. and if i shed a tear i won't cage it, i won't dear love. and if i feel a rage i won't deny it, i won't fear love. peace in the struggle to find peace, comfort, on the way to comfort.. and if i shed a tear i won't cage it, i won't fear love. and if i feel a rage i won't deny it, i won't fear love. i won't fear love.

and then she closed the night with a solo angel. tonight, the song i never really held in high regard, i listened closely to what it said, and it was special indeed. lyric : you keep on building the lie that you make up for all that you lack. it don't make no difference escaping one last time', it's easier to belive this madness, this glorious sadness that brings me to my knees..

and so the night was closed, and i'll remember for as long as i can. and i'm glad that my friends siyuan, jermyn and jo could enjoy an unforgettable night with sarah mclachlan as well.

the setlist

world's on fire
hold on
perfect girl
i will remember you
train wreck
building a mystery
black and white
sweet surrender
ice cream
fumbling towards ecstacy

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