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Blige steals the show

July 25, 2010


Hail Mary, full of grace.

That would be the Queen of Hip- Hop Soul - Mary J. Blige - a raw emotional and powerhouse of a singer - who stole the show from singer - who stole the show from Lilith Fair founder Sarah McLachlan and others on the main stage during the long-awaited return of the all-women’s music festival on Saturday afternoon and evening at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. Saturday afternoon and evening at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre.

Would you believe it’s been 11 years since the last Lilith, as it’s now called, has been on the road? And it hasn’t been a great return headline-wise.

Plagued by cancelled dates, performers pulling out - in the case of the Toronto show, Kelly Clarkson, Kate Nash and La Roux - and low ticket sales (a phenomenon some in the media have termed "Lilith Fear,") - the T.O. version phenomenon some in the media have termed "Lilith Fear,") - the T.O. version turned out to be a huge success, commercially anyway, with a sold-out crowd who flocked down to the lakeside shed despite torrential rain on and off during the day.

Now, it may not have been the most stellar lineup but Blige in her transcendent 45 minute set made up for any shortcomings with near- religious covers of U2's One and Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven.

Decked out in a black fringe top, white, silver and black eggings and killer heels, Blige bobbed and weaved around leggings and killer heels, Blige bobbed and weaved around the stage, either bending over or doing her trademark squats while belting out the big notes.

At one point, during another standout song, No More Drama, she appeared to be in tears as she held her head in her hands as the song ended.

Quite simply, she's an astonishing performer - other highlights included Rea Love and Be With Me - who schooled the rest of the girls in how to deliver.

"Ladies, you look good, you smell good, we can't get enough of you!" Blige told the audience The feeling appeared to be mutual.

Other mainstage performers - Texas duo Courtyard Hounds (two-thirds of the Dixie Chicks), singer-songwriter pianist Chantal Kreviazuk and synth-pop cutie Lights, the latter both from Toronto, - put on perfectly acceptable sets but they Lights, the latter both from Toronto, - put on perfectly acceptable sets but they were mild outings by comparison to the mighty Blige.



http://www.torontosun.com/entertainment/columnists/jane_stevenson/2010/07/25/14819431.html

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