Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sarah McLachlan on VH1's Storytellers; 1998.




I was fortunate enough the other day to see Sarah McLachlan live for the first time, and even though it was a short set at Lilith and we were seated on the lawn way far away and it was freezing at that time of night and it was years away from the height of my obsessions with Surfacing and Stumbling Towards Ecstasy, I still felt grateful. She will forever remain one of the most classiest ladies in music ever, in my mind. There is something that just seems special and sacred, something deeply felt, about so many of those songs. It is also hard for me to think about her without thinking of this one worn out VHS tape of mine.

See, my VHS habit started with my Hanson fandom, which was rabid and all consuming (and obviously the topic of another blog post altogether), and which obviously forced me to tape all of their TV appearances from the TV onto VHS. And they were on TV a lot. Tapes upon tapes, people. Soon in my craziness and out of habit I just started popping in a blank tape and clicking record anytime something relatively cool came on the screen, and that usually happened to be various episodes of VH1's Storytellers. This was a fantastic show and although I don't have any particular judgment about whatever VH1 shows these days, I will tell you that I miss that stuff. VH1 was amazing in the 1990s, yo. Holla. But the Storytellers that I recorded and watched the most was Sarah's. Over, and over, and over. Just looking up some clips on YouTube from it gives me chills and waves of memory flashbacks. There are a few reasons why it is so good: her sincere half-whisper voice she speaks with all the time; the dark lighting with all those pretty golden lamps and candles--so pretty and magical and perfect!; that cute short haircut; her overall genuine-ness. And then of course there is that one point where Paula Cole comes out to sing one of my favorite songs in a ridiculous wonderful outfit (watch the video above! It is so good!). Afterward Paula rolls out a birthday cake to surprise her for her birthday and Sarah almost cries. Also, at one point near the end Sarah talks about how surprisingly wonderful the experience of the show has been and how thankful she is for it, and then after her last song (Adia), as the crowd claps, she thanks them and bows her head a little and smiles, and ACTUAL TEARS WELL UP IN HER EYES as the credits roll. Oh man.

I brought the VHS with me to college, but before the move out west, I think I stored it at my mom's house. But I don't think I'll ever throw it away.

1 comment:

  1. At around O:47, I cannot believe my 12 year old eyes didn't think something was up between those two. Am I crazy?

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