Concert review: Sarah McLachlan at the State Theater – Minneapolis, MN – July 8, 2014

Published by Jeff Becker.

Displaying more than two decades of performance savvy Sarah McLachlan reiterated to the sold-out State Theater audience more than once her love of performing live music – and that she has the best job in the world.   And it shows.   No power on heaven or earth would be able to peel the smile from her face and the increasing charisma she puts on full display.   It’s half music, and half an Evening at the Improv – all starring one Ms. McLachlan.

As McLachlan has moved gracefully into a new era of her spotless career, her 20140708_SarahM_D7k_1performance standards have lifted also.   Combining the best ideas of her past tours she continues to do things just a little different – and with outstanding results.   Her 150-minute set continues her recent thread the past several years of no opening act, a 20 minute intermission, and a couple breaks during her two sets to take questions from the audience.  The audience submit their questions in written form at the merch table.   It’s a brilliant strategy to showcase McLachlan’s personality away from just the music – and it provides the audience several breaks during the otherwise lengthy evening.   Once the love songs and heartbreak require a deep breath, McLachlan gives that to us in the form of a familiar distraction; humor.

Added to this tour is the inclusion of a couch on the stage, filled twice with social media winners.   These two groups of about four are invited to the couch during mid-set, shake hands with McLachlan and are given their own opportunity to ask questions.   It’s mostly awkward, but also charming, as the starstruck group fumbles over their words while desperately trying to remain cool during their 15 minutes of onstage fame.   After the brief Q&A the group gets to sit tight and watch McLachlan perform three or four songs – all within their arm’s reach.   It’s an example of the connection McLachlan has always attained with her audience.   She’s universally loved, respected and she offends no one.   Straight or gay, young or old, male of female – it’s in your blood to applaud her, and the State Theater performance was no different.   Severe criticism plays no role in her life.  Imagine if people like Sarah Palin had this much natural magnetism and built-in teflon from critics – because if so, the notion of a President Obama 7 years ago would have never gotten further than just being a notion.   It would be President Palin.

The setlist was the typical McLachlan career run through with several tracks culled from her new album Shine On and the audience-pleasing versions of the classics from the 90’s.   Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, her seminal work, is fully acknowledged near the end of the night.   That shall never change.   As with most artists that reach their mid-40’s, it’s their work from their mid-20’s that continues to define their legacy and Ecstasy is no different.   It’s the underlying Mount Rushmore of McLachlan’s career and while the appearance of these tracks isn’t daring, it’s mandatory in this hand-holding, theater setting.   Some things just never get old and replaying tracks from your most classic album are well earned.   McLachlan need answer to no one.


Flesh and Blood
Building a Mystery
In Your Shoes
Broken Heart
World on Fire
Loving You Is Easy
Song for My Father
I Will Remember You
Brink of Destruction
Hold On
Love Beside Me
Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
Sweet Surrender
Beautiful Girl
Ice Cream
The Sound That Love Makes



3 thoughts on “Concert review: Sarah McLachlan at the State Theater – Minneapolis, MN – July 8, 2014

  1. LA Carlson

    Your review sums it up beautifully! There was no doubt to those of us sitting in the audience how happy, playful and self-deprecating Sarah McLachlan really is. It is what those of us restrained yet loyal fans love about her. This evening she was even more appealing than ever and we got to see more of what we usually never see; the private side. It was wonderful! It goes without saying she has retained her beautiful, stunning voice. She’s at the top of her game. The microphone could have been turned down a touch, those of us sitting on the left of the stage missed seeing the fan interaction on stage and a picture of her father would have been welcomed accoutrements especially with respect to paying the top price for tickets (Not VIP). (The Shriners Parade on Hennepin Avenue was an annoying pre-tense to arriving at this show and made more than a few of us 15-20 minutes late; a heads-up would have been helpful.)

    1. twths Post author

      Thank you for the kind comments and I’m glad to hear you enjoyed Sarah’s show as well. You make some valid comments about the inability on the left side of the stage to see everything….
      Thank you again!

      1. LA Carlson

        My pleasure!

        Thank you again for reviewing an artist that will always be relevant even when her concert was ignored by the 2 major newspapers in town.


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