In the arms of an angel
By Michael Perlman
Sarah McLachlan and The New York Pops treated fans to an intimate and soulful experience at Forest Hills Stadium on August 2. McLachlan is known for her versatile mezzo-soprano vocal range, and has received three Grammys and twelve Juno Awards.
Since 2015, the stadium has been the summer home of The New York Pops, which is led by the witty director and conductor Steven Reineke. They are America’s largest independent pops orchestra and the city’s only professional orchestra specializing in popular music.
Debbi Ascher has been to several McLachlan concerts, but said this one was special.
“The inclusion of The New York Pops took the performance to a whole new level,” she said. “I have never seen so much talent on one stage.”
Highlights from the first set included “Possession,” “I Will Remember You,” “Adia” and “Rivers of Love.” The second set included songs like “Building A Mystery,” “Sweet Surrender” and “Ice Cream.”
“Sarah McLachlan’s voice was angelic and The NY Pops brought their music to a whole other level,” said Forest Hills resident Heddy Schmidt. “Listening to this amazing concert under the stars and hearing the cicadas buzz in between songs made it unique.”
The encore included “Fear,” “Love Come” and “Angel,” one of McLachlan’s most famous songs.
“It’s so cathartic as a songwriter to delve into my pain, loss, confusion, and suffering, and find a way through it with music,” she told the audience. “I feel so blessed and lucky to have this outlet. I get to be up here every night and sing these songs and feel a beautiful energy and connection with all of you.”
Daniela Mariel Maizel was visiting from Argentina and attended the show with friends.
“This is my first concert in America, and I wanted to visit Forest Hills Stadium since it is very famous,” she said. “What a wonderful place with its history and warm atmosphere.”
“We thought there was no show more appropriate for the occasion,” she said. “We loved how mesmerized she was when the orchestra started the very first song, and coupled with Sarah’s amazing voice, she was in awe!”
Audrey Pavey said the most heartfelt moments were when McLachlan discussed marriage, divorce, motherhood, and love.
“I was especially touched when she dedicated a song to her late father, since I also lost my father a few years ago,” she said. “A few of Sarah’s band members were on stage and blended beautifully with the Pops.”
“I was honored to be so close to the music that has guided me much of my adult life,” said Thomas Duffy. “Sarah’s music keeps me dreaming of a better tomorrow full of love, and gives me the strength to overcome the sorrow and despair I sometimes face.”