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Sarah McLachlan in Concert

Last night, I took my daughter to see Sarah McLachlan at the RBC Center in Raleigh. I had never seen Sarah -- doesn't everyone just call her by her first name? -- in concert before, so it was a real treat.

First impression: Sarah is lovelier now, at the age of 36 and two years after having her first child, than she's ever been before. Second impression: Her voice isn't beautiful because of studio tricks, it's just plain beautiful -- and she hits all the same notes in concert that she hits on her CDs.

On her live CD Mirrorball, Sarah has the audience sing the refrain to "Ice Cream":

It's a long way down
It's a long way down
It's a long way down to the place
Where we started from
I've probably sung along to that song dozens of times, and it was a delight to find out that she always leads a sing-along. I suppose I should have added that to my list of 100 things to do in life...

A few months ago, a friend told me of the "join the fan club to get good seats" trick. For CDN$10, I purchased a membership in Murmurs, Sarah's fan club, through which members have the ability to buy tickets before the general public. To forestall scalping, when you buy tickets from Murmurs, you don't find out where you seats are until you pick up the tickets at the venue. Kelsey and I arrived late -- we had been at a band performance of hers and had to leave early just to make it when we did -- so when the tickets were handed to us, we rushed in through the gates to make it before Sarah started her set. After getting inside, I finally looked at our tickets -- row 4. I think the closest I've ever been at a concert before was row 20, so it was amazing being so close -- as if Sarah were singing to us from a across a small room.

I'm taking my son Cameron to see Barenaked Ladies next week, and I purchased tickets through their fan club as well, so we'll see if we get seats just as good.

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