It was a soft, balmy night along the Penobscot River, and it was a romantic, emotional, earnestly performed concert at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion, as Sarah McLachlan, the multiple Grammy Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter played songs from her eight studio albums, which span more than 25 years.
McLachlan, who this year released her eighth album, “Shine On,” performed a carefully selected array of hits, like “Adia,” “Building a Mystery” and “Fallen,” mixed in with newer songs and fan favorites, like “Hold On,” from her 1993 “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy.”
“I went to Lilith Fair when I was 18, and it was one of my favorite memories of all time,” said Kim Landon, of Portland, referring to the late 1990s touring festival of female performers McLachlan founded. “She has a beautiful voice, and I love her whole attitude.”
McLachlan performed on a set that was set up to look partially like a living room, and partially like an ethereal bedroom, all bold shades of red, purple, blue and green, and small, delicate lights. As part of the promotion for the “Shine On” tour, McLachlan invited concert-goers to submit to her various social media pages the things they feel makes them “shine” — and picking a handful of folks from those submissions to come onstage and sit on the couches and chairs she’d set up.
McLachlan accepted questions from the audience via social media, which she drew out of a hat while on stage and answered one at a time — one of which, naturally, asked whether or not she ate lobster while she was in Maine.
“Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I had lobster benedict for breakfast, I had a lobster bun for lunch, and I had lobster gnocchi and lobster bisque for dinner,” she said. “And then I was throwing up all night. What a dumbass. [But I] couldn’t help myself. I love lobster. I’m from Nova Scotia. I’m from right up the coast. So it feels like home here.”
McLachlan played two sets throughout the night, starting her second set with a performance of “Song For My Father,” off her new album, which she wrote for her father, as the title suggests, who passed away four years ago. She followed it up with “I Will Remember You,” another major hit for the singer from the 1990s.
Up next in the Machias Savings Bank concert series are two shows on the Maine State Pier in Portland — Three Doors Down on Aug. 3 and Portland Reggae Fest on Aug. 10. The Arcade Fire perform at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion on Aug. 20. For more information, visit waterfrontconcerts.com.