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Concert/CD Reviews

"Harmer sings like someone who doesn't have a cynical bone in her body, but she drops so much lyrical straight-shooting that she turns You Were Here into a marvelously compelling meditation on the imperfection of the whole love thing. A dozen killer songs doesn't sour the deal, either"
PAT BLASHILL (Rollingstone.com)


Sarah Harmer, Toronto, March, 2001 by Evan M



Hey Everybody, this is my lil Sarah H story.

The Lovely Sarah Harmer played two solo concerts in the fabulous Danforth Music Hall on March 2nd and 3rd, but this story actually starts on March 1st, that's when she was scheduled to do a tv interview at MuchMusic 2pm. Me and my friend (Hi Sandra!) got there at about 11:30, and asked if we could be in the audience, and they told us that there was 20 people that would be enough for an audience, but less than that would look wierd, and the interview would be just the VJ alone with Sarah. So by 1pm the line-up outside consisted of me, my friend, and 2 other people!!! Where was everybody?! So we couldn't come in, but we watched the interview on tv in a store down the street. They played the video for 'Don't Get Your Back Up', it was cool, had pretty much the same look as Basement Apt. So anyway, we were just walking around Queen St. after, and guess who we ran into!?! Sarah Harmer!! We said hi and got autographs, she was really nice! We told her we'd be at both Toronto shows, and she said she'll remember to wink at us!! On my poster she wrote "to Evan, stay warm, S. Harmer" and drew a little heart. *awwww*

Okay, on to the concerts, we arrived at the Music Hall and found our seats, right at the front! *Go Me!*, Danny Michel opened, and he was really good! He told some cute stories, did some cool things with looping his own guitar, very impressive. And his songs were great! I can't wait to see him live by himself. Sarah later joked that he told him not to make her look so bad the next night. haha. Car Wheels On A Gravel Road by Lucinda Williams and Transcendental Blues by Steve Earle were playing before and after Danny's set both days, I wonder if Sarah picked that herself?

Then the lights went out and Sarah Harmer and the guys came out, well actually Sarah hopped out, 'twas very cute, and launched into a great version of The Hideout. She wore this really cool fur hat (I'm guessing fake-fur) for most of the show. Here's my idea of the sets, it's not perfect, but I think it's pretty close:

The Hideout
Trouble In The Fields
Oleander
You Were Here
Around The Corner
Skyway
New Song
Coffee Stain
Don't Get Your Back Up
Weekened State
Judy G
Open Window
Uniform Grey
Basement Apt.
Everytime "another cover, written by a friend of mine, it's a good one"
Lodestar
-------------
Capsized
Good Fortune
-------------

I'm A Mountain "this is what happend when you play guitar and watch tv at the same time"
In The Road (dedicated to her van, which has 452'000 km on it!)
The Room With A Sir John A. View
South Of Me (played on one guitar string, parly sung in French!)
That was the first Toronto show, it was soo amazing!!!, now onto the second show, Danny was great as expected, as was Sarah (of course!). She mixed up the set this time, but it was still one of the best concerts I've ever been too. She played:

Around The Corner
Oleander (I'm really loving this song!)
Open Window
Uniform Grey
Skyway
Good Fortune (again, yay!)
Coffee Stain
Don't Get Your Back Up
New Song ("as close as a girl can get / to trouble without being in it" - can't wait to hear this again!)
Trouble In The Fields
The Hideout
Luther's Got The Blues
Old Perfume (!)
Weekened State
Basement Apt.
Lodestar
--------
Capsized
Everytime
You Were Here
-----------
Dogs And Thunder *sniffle*
I'm A Mountain

After the show we waited in the lobby, hoping that Sarah would come out, and she did!!! I remebered to get a pic this time, and she was really nice, and she remembered us! I took pics thoughout both shows, and some of them turned out really great, I hope to get them scanned soon.

I couldn't get over how great everything was, great performance, sound quality was excellent, you could here everything clearly, venue was really cool (both Sarah and Danny commented on that), I wouldn't have changed a thing if I could. I can't wait till Sarah returns to T.O!

Evan


Trinity Centre on October 26, 2000



Wow, the Toronto show was soooo great. And the Trinity centre is a great place to see someone like Sarah. Josh Rouse was pretty good too, for the last song he played without the use of any microphones for his voice or his guitar. very cool.

But back to Sarah, amazing, amazing. I think Capesized and Lodestar were the highlights for me, yum! She did all the songs from YWH, and lots of others too. At one point Sarah said that being in a church made her want to tell a dirty jike, but hse woulldn't cause her parents were in attendance, it was sooo cute! This was the set:

the hideout
around this corner
oleander
coffee stain
judy g
in the road
trouble in the fields
open window
don't get your back up
mercy bin
good for tune
uniform grey
capsized
basement apt.
weakened state
lodestar
------
1st encore
South Of Me
Everytime
You Were Here
------
2nd encore
I'm A Mountain
Evan



Montreal - The Cabaret!!!


Well as some of you know, I went to see Sarah Harmer on Friday night at the Cabaret. I had trouble finding someone to come with me but eventually it all worked out and it was definitely worth the trouble. I had a great time! The show was awesome!! Took some pictures but I don't think they will be very good. Too many people in front of me and I could not get a clear shot. The place was packed man!!!

There were 2 opening acts. The first, Pidgeon Hole, is a band from Montreal. I really enjoyed their set. It was 2 girls singing and playing guitar, with a guy playing one of those electric stand up basses and a wonderful drummer too. They played some originals and a few covers that would not be expected. They played Van Halen's "Jump" and Twisted Sister's "We're not gonna take it". They really had the crowd going with those numbers. One of the girls was a very talented guitar player. I wouldn't mind seeing them again.

The next act, Chris Brown and Kate Fenner... I didn't like them as much at first but as their set progressed, it got better. Sarah even came out for a song to play drums! Who would have known that she can play drums! hehe! Chris is a very talented keyboard player and Kate has an amazing voice. It just wasn't my cup of tea I guess. I like guitar driven bands.

So anyway, finally, Sarah came out and wow, what an awesome show she put on! I even called my mom from my friend's cell phone at one point. Thanks Dale!! Heather, I wish I had your phone number with me, I could have called you too!! Before I go any further, here's the setlist (I managed to get it after the show and it is hand written by Sarah herself - even has some little drawings on it!)

- Hideout (the name of this website! hee hee)
- Oleander (great great song! She said it was about a plant and this song can't be found on any cd... I had chills and I could feel the tears well up in my eyes.. that's how powerful she is.. wow!)
- Uniform Grey (I think this is a Weeping Tile song)
- Good Fortune
- Trouble in the fields!!!!! (I was soooo excited that she sang this one!! It was the only one from "Songs for Clem" that she did so I really lucked out there)
- Capsized
- In the road / Closer than a girl (I think she said that these were new songs that she was working on)
- Open Window (this is when I called my mom up! hee hee)
- Don't get your back up (I thought of waterbottle during this one.. hehe)
- Coffee Stain
- You were here (this was one of the best songs of the night... that Kevin guy sure plays a mean cello...)
- Mercy Bin
- Around This
- Basement Apt (the crowd went nuts... everybody
singing along - it was cool!)
- Lodestar (very very pretty!!)

And then she came back out for 3 encores and I don't know the names of the songs she did. Actually, come to think of it, she did alot of stuff that I had never heard before. Either it was new material or stuff that she wrote that didn't make it on the cd's. She also did some covers. That was pretty cool! After the show was over, we stuck around a little while in the hopes of meeting Sarah. All the band members came out and I got Kevin to sign my setlist. This is what he wrote:

"Hi Allison, there's a first time for everything, finally! Thanks, Kevin"

I told him my sob story... how I had a really hard time getting there... hehe... And then, a little while later, Sarah came out! I was so excited! I was a blubbering idiot I'm sure! I told her she had the most beautiful voice I had ever heard in a really long time. She thanked me... hehe... I told her about your website Heather. She told me to email the link to her. She's really nice!! I got my picture taken with her. I hope it turns out! I also asked her if she had any plans to come out to the Maritimes but she said not at the moment but to keep checking her website. So anyway, there you have it in a nutshell. What a great show! I had a really good time. I hope to see her again someday.

-Allison Alcorn


Barrymore's, Ottawa, Feb. 2001




Sporting pig-tails and of course her guitar on Thursday night at Barrymore's in Ottawa, Sarah opened a packed show with "The Hideout". She captivated the familiar, allowing them to reminisce, and enthralled the new listeners in turn with an excellent set, including "Good Fortune", "Oleander", "Don't Get Your Back Up", "Basement Apartment" and a new song she dubbed "Untitled", which was a slower tilt. She finished the evening with two encores, including "Dogs & Thunder". A remarkable show to say the least. Sarah's skill and charisma are uncanny, her voice is unequivocal and honest. She gives her songs such a personal quality, that empathy comes easily to her listeners. If you have the chance to see her live, do so, but don't chatter, listen and lose yourself in the music that will always be with you.
- Kevin McClintock


Barrymore's, Ottawa, Feb. 2001



After what seemed forever, Sarah Harmer finally took the stage!!

The set list (as best as I could remember & figure out - I have yet to know all the Weeping Tile songs). The first four are in order - the rest are close!

The Hideout
? A song about a plant surviving the winter?
Uniform Gray
Trouble in the Fields (yay! I was hoping!)
Good Fortune
Capsized
A new one, didnít catch the name, but it was good! Donít Get Your Back Up
Open Window (The Wedding Song)
Coffee Stain (the crowd was very into this song - the first one where I could hear the audience singing!)
You Were Here
Basement Apartment
Lodestar ( I believe it was here when the psycho couple butted in beside me - more below)
Weakened State
Dumpster Diving (by the Hill Billies from Kingston, Ontario)
And there were a couple I didnít know, in particular, the last song (second encore!) which she dedicated to some girls she pointed to in the audience.

For those who care, the wardrobe: Sarah: had her hair in pigtails, wore a maroon sweater and dark blue jeans rolled up in that style that I have yet to totally understand? She was wearing those new slip on runners that I have seen & have been tempted to buy. She also said she was wearing long johns ( and showed us the bottom edge of her leg at one point, then her sleeve when she tried to roll up her sweater a bit later). Mr. Fox: he was simple in his almost-tight gray t-shirt and dark pants. As for the rest of the band, I couldnít remember what the drummer & other guitar player were wearing. Well, she didnít chat very much on stage and didnít do very long introductions to the songs either. There was a group beside & in front of me that kept yelling out, "Dear Henry". When she finally heard them, or admitted to hearing them, she said she didnít know how to play it, just sing it. Still, they kept asking for it throughout the show. Finally at the end, they yelled again & one guy got up close to her and asked again, saying that his friend really wanted to hear it and his house had just burnt down (could be true - there was a big fire a few days before the concert) but she said, "Dude, I donít know how to play that one." Well, the guy whose house apparently burnt down was excited because Sarah had called his friend, "Dude". It was cute!

The crowd took a while to get going but eventually they did. I had a very good time, except when this older couple (Iíd say about 40 & who had a "stuck in the 60s" look going) pushed their way in between my sister and I and started "psycho-dancing" as I have come to describing it. I have NEVER seen anyone dance quite like that. They took up sooo much space & moved so much & weird Ö I canít describe it! During the slow parts he was rubbing his hands ALL over her fast and then when the music was fast, they were moving all over very fast - not even to the beat! Anyways, that was my only complaint about the show.

As I said before, Sarah came out for two encores, the first being three songs ( I think) and the second only one ( I think). When she came back out for the first encore, she said that usually she has a stool for her red wine & kleenex ;)

Well, thatís all I can remember at this point! Feel free to correct me on the song titles, Iím still a new fan & donít know everything! Hopefully my pictures will turn out & Iíll find somewhere to post them (no, I donít have a site, yet). Oh, and no, my friend Katie never made it. I got a message about her getting lost but I have yet to talk to her. Anyways, thanks for reading!

-Alison in Ottawa

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