Anyone coming to Chastain Park on Thursday night expecting a night of Sarah McLachlan, instead got a bigger dose of what McLachlan is all about – advancing women in music.
And what better way to start the evening than with Alpharetta tween group Von Grey. The four sisters, ages 10 to 15, showed off their musical talents with rich, harmonious vocals and energetic performances on guitar, strings, and keyboard.
Petra, Fiona, Annika and Kathryn earned their way on stage after winning Lilith Fair’s local talent search this past spring. The girls were scheduled to perform at Lilith’s Atlanta show before it was canceled last month because of slow ticket sales. Lucky for them and Atlanta fans, McLachlan chose to bring them on as her opening act during her personal tour stop here Thursday.
The young, singer-songwriter quartet wowed the crowd with songs such as “Rise Up,” “Volcano” and “What’s Your Name.” In an innocent moment, it took a loud audience member to finally ask the girls near the end of their set what the name of their group was. The sisters had simply forgotten to introduce themselves.
McLachlan started her set with the popular melancholic tune “Angel” – yes, the animal rights song. She quickly promised fans a special, different kind of evening before launching into “Building a Mystery.”
Fans soon learned that special and different meant McLachlan sharing the stage most of the night with two other female singers, Melissa McClelland and Butterfly Boucher, both of whom sang background when not at center stage. McClelland and her husband, Luke Doucet, sang “Broken One,” a bold duet that Doucet initially wrote about an ex-girlfriend and McClleland later rewrote.
Between songs from McClleland, a dynamic songstress, and Butterfly Boucher, a bad ass on guitar and vocals, McLachlan treated fans to old favorites such as “I Will Remember You” and World on Fire” while singing material from her new album, “Laws of Illusion,” released this past June.
New tunes such as “Out of Tune” and “U Want Me 2” are pretty melodies that offer a window into McLachlan’s painful, marital split with drummer Ashwin Sood. But “Forgiveness,” also from “Illusion,” offered one of the most honest and heartfelt songs of the night.
The 42-year-old Canadian singer admitted that many of the songs featured were about the demise of her marriage. “But I’m so much happier now, so go figure.”