Friends lets me down, people let me down, and the world lets me down. Please, not you too...I just don't have the strength to let the heros in my life let me down.
I went to see Sarah McLachlan on St. Patty's Day at Massey Hall in Toronto, and I was looking forward to finally seeing my B.F.F. She came out looking great, and she sounded great. She was funny, she was honest, personable, and she shared her stage and spotlight with Butterfly Boucher, Luke Doucet, and his wife Melissa McLelland. They were all great additions, and they proved to be a great entourage to the show. It was all going so well...
And then the wheels started to fall off....
I knew I was in trouble when Sarah sat at her piano, and told the sell-out audience that there were some songs that she just didn't feel connected to anymore, and wouldn't feel genuine in singing them. I assumed that she was referring to her break up with her ex-husband Ashwin Sood, and maybe the songs that reminded her of their romance together, but I put it out of my mind and listened onwards.
By the end of the show, I'm counting on my fingers, and looking at my watch, and wondering when she is gonna get to the songs that I have been waiting to hear. I was originally thinking that they would most likely be in the encore, because they were such big hits. So I sat patiently, and waited.
But they never came...Here are the 6 songs I expected to hear: (call me crazy if you wouldn't want to hear Sarah sing these)
1) ORDINARY MIRACLE (She opened the Winter Olympics in Vancouver with this!!)
2) Song For a Winter's Night
6) Full of Grace
Full of Grace is my favourite Sarah song. You know how you have a song that you just simply connect to, and think that someone wrote and sang just for you? Well, this is my song. It may not be her biggest song, but it's something special, and I was ruined that she never sang it.
So here's my beef...
Do you think that a performer should have to play the songs that their fans want to hear?
I remember a couple years ago, I went to see Prince, or "the artist formally known as Prince" Whatever... the little circus midget who wears Purple and sings and dances on stage to Purple Rain. -That guy...
Anyway, he came out in the press saying that he was now a reformed something or other, and he wasn't going to play certain songs now, and the press weren't allowed to ask him questions about his past and shit. So when I went to see him play, he wouldn't play "Darling Nikki" and a whole lot of other songs that didn't agree with his newly reformed sense of conscience.
Well, when we are paying to watch you play the songs that got you on that stage, I could care less about how it hurts to play those songs. Billy Joel said that he would never play "Uptown Girl" again after he and former model, and now ex-wife Christie Brinkley broke up, because he wrote that song for her.
Well, I can understand as the artist that these songs may have deep meaning and all, but we as the fans have connections to them too. I'll grant you that they probably aren't as deep as the artist's connections are, but whatever; there is a connection that we can relate to, and we are paying to see you play...
So when I pay to see an artist play live, I think it is unfair to not expect to hear the songs that have gotten you famous because they are too painful for you to sing about. If actors can get on stage and perform and do this, why can't musicians?
So I ended up leaving Sarah's concert that night feeling let down, and cheated. I had bought a ticket to her show that left me feeling worse because of an un kept expectation, than before I went in the first place.
The next day, having slept on it, I wrote her a letter and went down to Massey Hall to drop it off for her (she was playing back to back concerts there) and asked her why she didn't play these songs that were so dear to her fans, and I let her know how let down I felt because of it.
I haven't heard back from her, or her people yet, and I wonder if I will... I would like to think that Sarah is down to earth, and that someone from her staff would reach out to an isolated fan with an explanation, but who knows? What I do know, is that Sarah cancelled her performance in London, Ontario on Sat. March 19th the following day at the John Labatt Centre.
Co-incidence? I think not... ;)