I’ll admit that after hearing about several cancelled concert dates, I only expected the worst for Wednesday night’s Lilith Fair at Cricket Wireless Amphitheater. Even with raindrops looming and a 5.4 magnitude earthquake, the city came out to support women in music lead by festival co-founder and musical legend Sarah McLachlan. Fans sporadically filled the large outdoor arena, an unlikely venue that included three hastily built ABC sponsored tents surrounding the barricaded lawn entrance. With lawn seats upgraded to the second tier, fans enjoyed the feminine boots filled deodorant samples, Crystal Light drink mixes, Luna bars and more, as vocalists tore apart each set on its three stages.
The star of the evening was the unexpected power female and first Mexican act to participate in Lilith Fair, Jenni Rivera. The Patron- slugging singer was handing out shots to the screaming fans who shuffled past the ample security guards, earning handshakes and tequila from the influential Latin presence. Country act Miranda Lambert shared her strength with fellow performer Brandi Carlile for a special duet “Crazy,” by Patsy Cline, while A Fine Frenzy talked about the owls living in the rafters above her head. Though the seats were hardly half filled, all the women really gave their full effort, blowing through the microphone throughout each, albeit time-crunched, set.
It’s been 11 years since Lilith Fair went on hiatus following a successful consecutive three years stint. Critics weren’t critical of the feminine dominated affair this time around, though running doubts were hardly pushed aside. Besides being a decade older with a new album to promote, McLachlan also had to wary the economic storm that has been brewing throughout the country this past year.
In lieu of the mediocre turnout, Lilith Fair is what San Diego based band Switchfoot calls “a breath of fresh air.” Comparing it to summer rock tours like Vans Warped Tour, Lilith welcomes everyone with open arms. Acts new and old come to celebrate the power of music, something even in this day-and-age is extremely rare.
[images: The Weepies; empty-stands; Jenni Rivera as headlining act]