Caption: "Singer Sarah McLachlan is promoting a concert our featuring women musicians that is very popular".

Featuring the fairer sex

Lilith' becomes one of the hottest tickets in town

By David Bauder

For the past few years, singer Sarah McLachlan has noticed seomething missing from the Lollapalooza festival - about half of the human species.

The annual summer concert tour, which last year headlined Metallica, had become such a testosterone-fueled event that McLachlan vowed to create an alternative. The result, Lilith Fair, is the most intriguing show on this summer's circuit.

All of the acts performing on Liliht Fair's three stages are women or are dominated by women, such as the Cardigans. The revolving list of artists for the 32 date tour, which starts Saturday in Washington state and comes to Shoreline Amphitheatre on July 8, includes Tracy Chapman, Suzzane Vega, Jewel, Indigo Girls, Cassandra Wilson, Shawn Colvin, Sheryl Crow, Paula Cole, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Emmylou Harris and Julianna Hatfield.

McLachlan, who will perform at all the shows, organized Lilith Fair partly for selfish reasons: She wanted to see these women perform herself. "There are a lot of incredible performers out there who happen to be women," she said. "I admire and respect their music and I never get to see them play live, which to me is far the most exciting way to hear music." A few years ago, McLachlan recalled getting heat from some promoters when she wanted to tour the United States with an opening act of Cole, now riding high with her hit "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?" [Note: I was there!!]. They told her audiences wouldn't want to see two women on the same bill.

That doesn't seem to be a problem anymore. Mitch Slater, concert promoter and president of Delsener/Slater Enterprises, said it's likely Lilith Fair's two performances in the New York area will sell out. Ditto shoreline in Mountain View, according to a Bay Area tour publicist.

These sucessful tours during the clogged summer season are prized by promoters, who remember last year's march of has-been 1970's bands rattling around half-filled amphitheaters.

This year, there may be an overdose of what is usually considered a good thing for consumers: festivals that bring several acts together on one bill. Lollapalooza (Shoreline, Aug. 15), the tour that started it all, is just one of the crowd this years with Snoop Doggy Dogg, Tool and Prodigy.

Still, McLachlan's "Lilith Fair" looks to be one of the hottest tickets. The Canadian singer tried the concept on a handful of dates last year and was encouraged by the response. She even saw some men in the audience. "Maybe they got . . . dragged there by their girlfriends." she said. "But they were there regardless and they had smiles on their faces."

Thanks to fellow Fumbler, Kristy ([email protected]) for inputting this.

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