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Sarah McLachlan builds set with Q&A, two stand-out sidewomen

Posted by: Jon Bream under Music Updated: March 10, 2011 - 5:40 PM
Star Tribune photo by Kyndell Harkness
 
Not sure where Sarah McLachlan fits in these days. Her 2010 single “Loving You Is Easy” sounded like a Sara Bareilles piano pop piffle. The rest of the new album, "Laws of Illusion," is dark and downbeat. To be sure, she packed the Orpheum Wednesday because, as my review stated, she was elevated to sainthood by founding the magical Lilith Fair in the late 1990s and she still has a faithful following.
They were rewarded with a generous two-set program that stretched to nearly three hours, including intermission. Sarah spiced it up by taking questions from the audience (via forms filled out at her merchandise table). She answered questions about pre-show rituals, favorite things to do with her two young daughters, what certain songs (including “Angel”) were about. She couldn’t remember the words to “Dirty Little Secret” – or what it was about. “OK, it’s about Facebook,” she joked.
McLachlan’s best moves were allowing sidewomen Butterfly Boucher (her bassist/backup singer) and Melissa McClelland (acoustic guitar/backup vocals) to sing some of their own songs (with McLachlan as backup musician and singer). McClelland was so impressive in so many ways -- voice, personality, humor, songs (quite original ideas) -- that I’d go see her own gig. (She did open at the Orpheum for Damien Rice once and appeared at last summer’s Lilith at Target Center when she biked all over Minneapolis.)
Here is Wednesday’s set list:
First set: Awakenings/ Building a Mystery/ Loving You Is Easy/ Stupid/ To Feel Live (Boucher)/ Another White Dash (Boucher)/ Passenger 24 (McClelland)/ Brake (McClelland)/ Answer/ I Will Remember You/ Don't Give Up on Us/ Fallen/ Falling Toward Ecstasy / World on Fire
Second set: Segovia (McClelland)/ Broken One (McClelland and Luke Doucet)/ I Can’t Make Me (Boucher)/ A Bitter Song (Boucher) / Good Enough/ Path of Thorns/ Forgiveness/ Aida/ Hold On/ Illusions of Bliss/ Sweet Surrender/ Possession ENCORE Angel/ Ice Cream

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