Music fans, artists and festival organizers couldn’t have wished for a better day for the Boston area stop on the Lilith 2010 Tour. While the sun shone down on the Comcast Center in Mansfield, MA, a cool breeze provided attendees with relief from the area’s recent record high temperatures. Festival goers found pre-evening action at the Village Stage and the ABC Stage, which were both set up in a lovely shady grove of trees alongside tents housing some of Lilith’s sponsors and the non-profit organizations each tour stop benefits.
Winterbloom with Lilith co-founder Sarah McLachlan. Photo by Asia Kepka
OurStage “Lilith Local Talent Search” Boston winners Winterbloom were the first band of the day on the Village Stage. Winterbloom, a singer-songwriter/folk supergroup of sorts, is made up of Boston singer-songwriter stars Meg Hutchinson, Antje Duvekot, Anne Heaton, Natalia Zukerman and special guest Rose Polenzani. Separately, each of these women is a musical force to be reckoned with. Together, they are on another level. The Winterbloom women and their sweet vocal harmonies greeted Lilith attendees as they filled into the Comcast Center. What did it feel like to perform at Lilith? “It felt amazing!,” said Winterbloom’s Ann Heaton, “Each day I keep wanting to know who to thank at OurStage for managing the competition and helping this come to be…Lilith itself had such a great supportive feeling of community… It was great to be around such talented, smart and kind women doing their own things in their own ways!” Bandmate Rose Polenzani echoes Heaton’s sentiments. “We had such a wonderful time at Lilith Fair… Right before the finale, one of the backstage crew members held up an assortment of percussion instruments and offered them to anyone who wanted to play them. This gesture showed such a spirit of fun and welcoming…” “Having the Lilith Fair date did give us something to work toward as a band,” said Winterbloom’s Antje Duvekot, “And the audience at Lilith Fair was really great and supportive of our performance.”
Did your judging help Winterbloom win? The women of Winterbloom put together a special video just for you! View their thank-you video here.
Butterfly Boucher belts it out. Photo by Mike Splain
Butterfly Boucher (Yes, that is her real name. “I have creative parents,” Boucher told the audience) also played a great set on the Village Stage. After performing a few songs solo with her “band in a box,” she was joined onstage by Sarah McLachlan’s band. The crowd got a big surprise when Sarah herself came out to join Butterfly and the band for a few songs.
Boucher was followed by Serena Ryder, who opened with an almost acapella, gospel-tinged number which blew the crowd away. Ryder’s stage presence was dynamic, evidenced by her jumping up and down and thrashing her head in time with the music.
Missy Higgins tunes up. Photo by Mike Splain
In contrast was Missy Higgins, who’s set included herself, a keyboard, a guitar and a bassist. With such a minimalist setup, an artist can’t afford to have a weak voice or stage presence. Missy had neither, hitting every note spot on and engaging the audience with stories about each song. She played several songs from her newest album On A Clear Night, including “Steer, ” which she introduced by telling the crowd “This song’s about being free.” Set closer “Where I Stood” left many audience members wiping away tears.
Sara Bareilles performed what was maybe the most active set of the evening. She
Cheers, Boston! Sara Bareilles. Photo by Mike Splain
opened with her hit ”Love Song,” which sounded fresh and full of emotion, even though she has surely played it thousands of times by now. Bareilles then launched into a cover of Beyoncé’s hit “Single Ladies,” which involved the vocal assistance of a young fan named Sammy, who ran up to the front of the stage and was given the mic by Barielles. Newer material left audience members eager for the September release of her new album Kaleidoscope Heart.
Sarah’s high-energy show was followed by the soulful sounds of Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power). Chan and her band opened with “Good Woman” from her 2003 album You Are Free, which then segued into a cover of the Rolling Stones classic “Satisfaction”. Another noteworthy cover in Chan’s set was the Billie Holiday standard, “Don’t Explain.” The cool evening breeze and the last of the sunlight was the perfect match for Chan’s smoky vocals.
Korgs for Quinns: Tegan and Sara. Photo by Mike Splain
The second to last slot of the night belonged to Tegan & Sara. The duo kept their notorious stage banter to a minimum, as they only had a short time to play, but they made sure to mention how much of an impact playing Lilith Fair 11 years ago made on them, and how happy they are to be a part of Lilith again. The Quinn sisters and their band tore through a wide range of songs from their catalog, including “Speak Slow” and “Where Does The Good Go” from 2004’s So Jealous, “Living Room” from 2002’s If It Was You, and “Alligator” off of their most recent album, 2009’s Sainthood.
All of the Lilith artists join together on the Main Stage for the finale. Photo by Asia Kepka
The night closed with Lilith founder Sara McLachlan, who was greeted with a deafening round of applause from the crowd. McLachlan kicked off her set with a bang, leading off with her hits “Angel” and “Building A Mystery.” Her newer material was also well received by fans. At the end of her set, all of the days artists were brought back out to join McLachlan for a performance of the Patti Smith classic “Because The Night.”
The night (and the afternoon) really did belong to the ladies of Lilith. The crowd was diverse— mothers, daughters, girlfriends, boyfriends—and attendees were just as likely to see young kids dancing to Sara Bareilles as middle aged women rocking out to Tegan and Sara. Everyone genuinely seemed to enjoy the music, which was absolutely top notch. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the kids in attendance were on stage at the 20th anniversary of Lilith Fair talking to the crowd about how inspired they were by the amazing talent and sense of community at Lilith 2010.
Check out the official Lilith Boston recap video (featuring OurStage ‘Lilith Local Talent Search’ Boston winners Winterbloom) here and check out some more pics below!
Fringe benefits: Serena Ryder. Photo by Mike Splain
A Lilith fan shows her support. Photo by Mike Splain
Chan Marshall aka Cat Power. Photo by Mike Splain