on photo's for larger image
of Summer - Part III:
Girls, Girls of Lilith Fair
(A behind the scenes look at a coven of female music makers)
Special Series by Rock n World's Debbie Seagle
in the hell is Lilith?
A long, long time ago, in
a galaxy far, far away . . . no wait, thats not right . . . All these
religious zealots screaming is getting me mixed up. Lets see . .
. in the beginning there was Adam, yeah, thats right. Then there
was Eve. No, not really. According to the earliest of religious
writings, there were animals - lots of animals. THEN there was Eve.
No, thats not right either. Then there was LILITH! You may
have heard your favorite television preacher lately talking dirt about
poor Lilith. Lilith, they say, was an evil temptress who refused
to obey Adam and was cast out of Eden to wail and gnash her teeth for all
eternity. She has been portrayed as a baby killer, a seductress,
a tramp . . . But what really happened? Is that the whole story?
Na-ah! Lilith was the earths first feminist. According to
religious doctrine, when Adam was finished naming all the creatures of
the earth he became lonely and jealous that the animals had mates.
After coupling with many of these animals, he asked you-know-who to give
him a mate like himself (the television preachers never tell that part
- but look it up!) Adam was given Lilith! But Lilith "refused
to lay beneath him" and was cast out of Eden. So, having nowhere
to go, and no particular attachments, girlfriend heads to the Red Sea and
takes up with a bunch of party guys (demons). So, whats a girl to
do? When someone rejects the first man (Adam), what else can you
do but call her a demon? I say its a bad wrap! I say
she tried to compromise with Adam and he wasnt buying it because he was
the only game in town . . . but that backfired, didnt it? And that,
as they say, is the rest of the story . . .
on with Our special on the Final Lilith Fair.
a suburban town in Southern California the Coors Amphitheatre was quiet
except for faint sounds of laughing and shouting from the nearby water
park. This peaceful scene was squashed like bubbles under a heard
of charging elephants as more than twenty buses and trucks thundered into
the compound. The Lilith Fair road warriors come spilling from their
buses, already into their well rehearsed routine. There were instruments,
equipment, merchandise and office supplies, but thats just the beginning.
Next comes the ping pong table, basketball hoop, bikes, roller blades,
hockey sticks, and a childrens swimming pool. The parking lot fills
with dogs (Its been a long ride) and scrambling people, who are living
on the road and taking along all the comforts of home.
Fair is the brain child of Canadian singer/song writer Sarah McLachlan
and she has realized all she envisioned for it. the fair showcases
a wide variety of music genres and not only presents a super star line-up,
but gives fans a chance to hear female fronted bands who are on the rise,
or local talent. On this day the B-Stage (or second stage)
line-up included a San Diego favorite Lisa Sanders, as well as Swedish
folk-rock singer Tekla, L.A. club duo Murmurs, Beth Orton, Cibo Matto and
Sixpence None The Richer.
all this peace, love and music be for real? Lilith Fair was considered
a joke by many in its first year, referred to as "est-Fest" and "Lilith
Flail." Stories were rampant in the tabloids of diva cat fights and
lesbian love-ins. In its second year, the music industry started
to pay more attention to its growing following and consistently fluid and
respectable line-ups. The music fans took notice too, by selling
out venues and buying CDs. In this third and final year it is bigger than
of the main stage acts are veterans to the fair and many of the crew members
have supported it all three years. Why end such a successful run?
According to Sarah, she needs a rest but she doesnt rule out the possibility
of resurrecting things in five or ten years, because she still believes
in the need for this type of musical enterprise.
Lilith Fair road warriors will work from 9:00 am until midnight on this
typical day. There is a flurry of activity before the gates open
at 3:00 pm. Vendors are setting up booths, press liaison "Jocelyn"
is briefing journalists prior to the press conference and check presentation
(It has been the custom of the Lilith Fair organizers to donate $1 from
every ticket sold in a particular town to a local charity that benefits
women in need). When the gates open, the venue becomes a sea
of humanity. People are milling through the village where you can
purchase products made from hemp, silver
jewelry, or body glitter for those o-so-special evenings out. You
can enter drawings to win a computer, learn about breast cancer research,
or snag a few free condoms from local public health related agencies.
The Village stage and B-Stage heat up and run throughout the day and into
the evening, so there is always great music to listen to while shopping,
talking with old or new friends, or partaking of the venues assorted "concert
the scenes there is calm and everyone is doing their own thing. In
the catering hall, tour chef "Jaimie" is preparing a buffet for his huge
family. Sheryl Crow walks into the crowd with her dog on a leash
and is virtually unnoticed by the people who have been standing at the
backstage entrance, waiting for autographs. Some roadies are playing
with a motorized skate board in the bus compound, while others are doing
last minute checks of lighting, audio equipment and instruments..
Mya is being interviewed by a local television station in the press area
and surprise VIP guest k.d. Lang is chatting with other performers.
Sean Lennon (of Cibo Matto) wanders around looking lost and everywhere
there is music.
the sun starts to fade, the main stage comes alive with the sounds of Luscious
Jackson, whos funky style of music gets the near capacity crowd moving.
Opening the main stage is a big job, as the crowds are tired from milling
around in the village all afternoon in the sun. These New Yorkers played
songs from their newest CD "Electric Honey" and ended their set with the
whole band doing the pogo, including drummer Kate, who left her kit and
pogoed to the front of the stage, swinging her b-side.
is up next, and she takes the ball from the girls of Luscious Jackson and
runs with it. The 18 year old singing sensation was a silent little waif
at the afternoon press conference, but someone flipped her switch when
she stepped on the stage. This teen R&B queen exudes confidence,
soul and attitude as she sings and poses on the stage teasing, "Am I really
doin good? Am I really okay?" In answer to the cheers, she
performed "What Cha Say?" Her sexy moves are contrasted with male hip hop
dancers and she croons her silky R&B tunes like a snake charmer.
came next was a surprise to at least 75% of the audience. To put
it simply, the "Dixie Chicks." The mostly "rock" oriented fans probably
did not come to the fair with the expectation of being floored by this
country act, but these country sirens delivered a high energy set that
included their hits "Wide Open Spaces, " "Tonight The Heart Aches On Me,"
and "Thats Your Trouble." It is easy to see why they are making inroads
into pop charts. These girls shot onto the stage in an explosion
of color. Feathers and beads were everywhere and their harmony and
upbeat music grabbed everyone by the throat. Its like being a little
kid and not wanting to miss a single thing at the circus - sensory overload,
but in a good way.
is Sheryl Crow and she keeps some of the country feel with "Youre My Favorite
Mistake" and "You Dont Bring Me Anything But Down." Sheryl has been
a mainstay of sorts for the Lilith Fair these past three years. She
is the only other act
besides Sarah McLachlan who will appear for all the scheduled dates of
the tour, with other artists rotating in and out of the line-up as it makes
its way across the US.
but not least is Sarah McLachlan. It was a sure sign that the
night was coming to a close and this three year odyssey with it. She received
cheers for "Adia," "I Will Remember You" and "Ice Cream," along with other
cuts from her new Mirrorball CD. Most of the artists from the
day join her on stage for the finale as they all sing "Put A Little Love
In Your Heart."
audience seems satisfied, and this traveling circus is packed and ready
to roll on to LA before the clock strikes midnight. Will there be
anyone to pick up next year where Sarah left off? Is this concept
one that needs to be taken farther down the road than Sarah wants to take
it? Stayed tuned for the spring of 2000 to find out!
Photo's by Debbie Seagle.
is the Associate Editor of RocknWorld.com