A couple/few months ago I wrote on this blog about how Lilith was coming back. Sarah McLachlan is my ultimate musical hero (explanation below) and I have never seen her live, therefore, I had to go. My 2 traveling buddies, Reese and Sara, decided this would be a fun trip and could also double as my birthday celebration.
Why Sarah is my musical hero: As a young, adolescent girl who enjoyed playing the piano and singing, I felt pretty alone in the late 1990s. It was a world where a lot of female vocals were full of soul, licks, and belting. I had none of those. I felt like my voice was plain, breathy, and not cool. And then.... I heard Sarah. Her tone was totally unique but her voice was plain, breathy, and cool. (In no way am I saying that I have her voice.... I'm just talking about vocal style.) She had a simplicity about her. I loved the way she played the piano and I loved the way she sang. She made me feel like I was allowed to keep doing what I was doing and that it was okay to sound like me, and not like Mariah, TLC, and Lauryn Hill. I love her songwriting and who she is. She's inspiring. The end.
We arrived in Bonner Springs, KS to Capitol Federal Park @ Sandstone around 1:30, the time in which the doors would open. We pulled up to the parking lot and saw that we would really have to search to find a spot. PSYCH! It was practically empty.
We parked and walked over to purchase our tickets. The tickets we were purchasing were lawn tickets... cheapo depo $24 tickets to see lots of great people. The lady at the window explained that someone just passed her a ticket that wasn't going to be used. She gave it to us. Everything just became even cheaper. We noticed that the free ticket said 'lawn' and the others said 'general admission.' Uh... we were NOT going to be separated. We triple checked with the lady that we really were going to be able to sit together. She made this comment, "Oh, you'll get to sit by each other. They'll explain it once you get in there." Weird answer, but we figured if it didn't work out, we'd just throw her under the bus and blame it on her.
We got in line and waited for the gates to open at 1:30. However, it was 2:00 at this point. The gates were obviously not opening at 1:30. We sat and hung out with our sweat beads and finally, they opened at 2:30. We walked in and realized very quickly that this was not a huge place. At least, not as huge as I had imagined. It's certainly no ACL.
We got right down to business doing the first thing that any normal human would do in this situation..... get hot dogs. We inhaled our food and water and walked over to hear the first bands.
We heard Erin McCarley, who was pretty good, followed by Vedera. If you're not aware of Vedera, you should be. They are amazing and her voice is flawless. After this, we made our way to the amphitheater stage to hear Metric, Ingrid Michaelson, Court Yard Hounds (the 2 sisters of Dixie Chicks), Emmylou Harris, Heart, and Sarah McLachlan.
Quick review: Metric.... a new favorite. Ingrid.... really wonderful. Hounds.... fun. They said the word 'chick' on stage at one point and the crowd began to cheer.... and then they quickly realized what they had done and said, "Well, not that kind of chick." Emmylou.... classic. Heart.... absolutely amazing and truly exceptional voices. Sarah.... unexplainable emotion and the best part of the night.
Just one little funny moment I experienced...
Girl 1: "I wonder when Heart is playing."
Girl 2: "Not until 8:50."
Girl 1: "Oh, I thought they were at 7:40."
Girl 2: "No, that's some Mary Lewis lady."
Immediately after this, another woman blew a bubble with her gum and it popped all over her face. She scrambled to get it off, hoping no one saw her. But I did. And it was really funny.
Back to the tickets... I need to explain the situation. Recall that I described how our tickets were different. Well, the lady was right. We could sit wherever we wanted. They actually blocked off the lawn seats and made everyone sit in the amphitheater seats. They wanted to make it look full for the artists. Basically, ticket sales were freaking low, which was not specific to this location evidently. In summary, we paid for 2 tickets for 3 people and scored seats that were double, maybe even triple, the individual ticket price we paid. We got a good deal.
Thanks, Reese and Sara. Happy Birthday to me. :)