Lilith Fair Celebrates Women, Song And Canada At Vancouver Show

Sheryl CrowLilith Fair
Ambleside Park
Vancouver,BC
July 1, 2010

By: Charlene Tupper
Sheryl Crow Photo: Andrew Chin

It’s Canada Day, and many of us are enjoying our day to celebrate our country. What better way to celebrate Canada Day, than with one of the country’s Grammy Award winning artists, Sarah McLachlan, and many her friends at the Lilith Fair 2010. The fair doors opened at 2 pm as fans lined up as far as the eye can see waiting to get in and experience a fair like no other. The Lilith Fair has been around for many years, grossing over 10 million dollars for woman’s charities throughout North America. The tour first started with Sarah McLachlan’s frustration when no two female performers were able to perform together, one after another, so she broke the chain and started the “Lilith Fair” in 1997 featuring all female performers. Now, with the triumphant return of Lilith in 2010, many fans were anxious to see big name female artists like, Sheryl Crow, Sugarland, Erykah Badu, Colbie Calliat and many others.

The first artist to perform was British Columbia’s Steph MacPherson on the Village Stage. Born in Victoria, BC, she had a passion for singing at a young age. She saw Ariel from “The Little Mermaid” and instantly dreamed of being just like her. Sadly unable to grow the fin, she turned to song writing and began to pursue a music career. Steph was voted to perform for this year’s fair by the fans in a contest called “Ourstage.com” with thousands of women competing. She got the leading vote for the Vancouver location. Steph had a very clean performance and she seemed very shy to talk to the crowd, but again, performing in front of over 5,000 people, can give anyone stage fright. The overall performance was well executed, and full of energy.

Onward to the B stage, also known as the CTV Stage, was our next performer, Ash Koley. Sound familiar? You may recognize one of her well known songs, at least, if you partake in Lotto 6/49. Ash’s song “Don’t Let Your Feet Touch Ground” is the track used to advertise the Lotto 6/49 “Imagine Life” commercials. This song filled the air waves of the fair and people came to see Ash play. Do not be fooled by the singular “Ash Koley” as the group name; the band is a two piece, consisting of Ash Koley and Phil Deschambault. Unfortunately, as Ash mentioned to the audience, “Phil’s name is just too complicated to spell, Ash Koley was a lot easier to pronounce”. That being said, the duo put on a very energetic performance, with the voice of an angel and the musical skills of a Saint, they were definitely a more upbeat band to enjoy this afternoon on this overcast day at Ambleside Park.

With various other artists switching between the Village stage, and CTV stage, all the artists performed extremely well and they all had their own quirks and special talents to make them all their own. Later into the evening, the bigger acts start to perform, opening the main stage was Colbie Caillat. I unfortunately didn’t get to see her full performance, but I managed to catch a song or two, closing with “Bubbly”, one of Colbie’s more popular songs. Listening to her perform, was breath taking – she has a beautiful voice, along with wonderful guitar skills – and she always showed her loving smile and gratitude, especially when giving a “Thank you Vancouver” at the end of her set.

Erykah Badu, a unique performer compared to the rest of the female artists here at the Lilith Fair 2010. A huge cast of performers stand behind her, featuring drums, flute, keyboards, backup singers, bass, and so many others. Erykah walks out on stage, in an oversized top hat, trench coat, and carrying out a rainbow thermos to a table beside her mic-stand. Her music style is very unique. It carries attributes of jazz and soul, while having characteristics of contemporary R&B. Her performance was very interesting, filled with individual quirks that made Erykah stand out from the rest.

Sheryl Crow was the next performer, playing about a 40 minute set. She had the audience captivated from start to finish. Her fans were going wild, dancing, screaming, singing to every song she played, including “All I Wanna Do”, “Soak up the Sun”, “The First Cut Is The Deepest”, and her newest song from “100 Miles From Memphis”, called “Summer Days”. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t fit the song, but as Sheryl said, “Emotionally, today was a “Summer Day, even if the clouds are here to stay.” Sheryl was one of the highlights of this year’s Lilith and the crowds showed their love and support for her all performance long.

From the southern United States, Nashville’s Sugarland hit the stage. Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush ran out and greeted the crowd, wishing everyone a “Happy Canada Day” and thanking the crowd for being there supporting the Lilith Fair and the cause to help women worldwide. The crowd was a little quite and timid at first, but once Jennifer sprang out her charismatic voice, and Kristian wailed his bright, luminescent guitar, the crowd went wild, chanting and singing back. Near the end of the set, they covered a couple songs varying from Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” to Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.” We all enjoyed the energy of their performance.

The last performance of the night was the one who started it all – Vancouver’s own Sarah McLachlan. Starting off her set with “Angel”, a very intimate song where Sarah is the lone performer on the stage playing the piano. She wore a gorgeous rust colour dress, with her voice captivating everyone in the audience – taking us all breath by breath. Once “Angel” finished, she walked up to the microphone, a smile upon her face, wishing a “Happy Canada Day” to everyone. She stated how happy she was to be in her home country, her home city for Canada Day, and how beautiful the audience was. She also mentioned how proud she was to be there with Lilith Fair once again.

The next song was from her newest album, “Laws of Illusion.”, playing a little “love song” for the audience. Sarah’s performance was radiant, she was glowing with happiness and the crowd was full of happiness and emotion to be seeing the one and only, Sarah McLachlan, performer, artist, and most of all, a giver to the world. It was a true celebration for all the women of Vancouver, BC and Canada to be proud of.

During the press conference earlier that evening, Lilith Fair donated a cheque for $9,500 to the Wish Woman’s Centre in Vancouver, proceeds which were generated from tickets sold at the event.