The Molson Ampitheatre. Toronto, Ontario.
May 26, 2008
It's a couple of days on and I'm still buzzing from this show. There was no way, even after the hour and a half drive home on the night-of, to just go to bed. I needed to look at my photos and relive this show.
I was cold and rain was threatening as I sat outside the media gate listening to what little of KT Tunstall's opening set filtered out to us photographers. Yeah, I had a couple of review tickets and my +1 was inside already but my big bag 'o camera gear meant no entry until after I shot Sheryl.
A little after 8 we're escorted to our position in front of the stage, and soon there she is in all her glory. Solo acoustic for the first song with a black curtain shrouding the rest of the stage. "God Bless This Mess" the lead track from her most recent Detours opened the show.
Then the curtain dropped and joined by her band Crow dove into over an hour and a half of her recent work, back catalog, and genuinely appreciative, and forthright between song banter. The set moved through "A Change Will Do you Good", "Leaving Las Vegas", "Can't Cry Anymore", and the new "Now That You're Gone". It was during "Favorite Mistake" that the audience began to rise to it's feet. Before Sheryl's (so hers that you don't even think of it as a cover) rendition of Cat Steven's "The First Cut Is The Deepest" she quipped that she had a nasty cold. I couldn't tell.
After this round of favourites Cheryl asked us to go on a "..trip with her in our imagination" to a "..place where we're all free and not worrying about the price of gas" and "..politicians are all great people who tell the truth". I'm not sure that many besides my five year-old and Cheryl have an imagination that vivid but "Gasoline" sure worked to get us close. This was one of the highlights of the night. A new song that, by the time it's over, you feel like you've known for years.
This was followed by "Real Gone" from the Cars soundtrack which has made her "popular with kids" and "Motivation" off of Detours. It was at this point that Sheryl adopted a very conversational tone and summed up her life since last visiting Toronto. Engaged, un-engaged, diagnosed with breast cancer, cured of breast cancer, adopted a little boy. All this leading into the poignant "Detours".
The set was rounded out with the politically charged but infectious "Out of Our Heads", "If It Makes You Happy", "Soak Up The Sun", and "Everyday Is A Winding Road". By the time the first, instantly identifiable, notes of "If It Makes You Happy" rang out the entire audience was on it's feet and stayed that way even through the extended wait for an encore. Sheryl's first hit "All I Wanna Do" and Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground" capped a night that was energetic, honest, refreshing and probably one the most memorable concerts I have attended.