To know Lilith is to love her. Unfortunately, more than a few of her former paramours apparently can live without her.
Lilith still possesses extraordinary qualities – the voice of an angel, undeniable beauty, indomitable spirit, and an engaging personality. Not to mention enough estrogen to rival a Justin Bieber audience. Yet something is missing.
This girl is a woman now. The culturally significant and socially conscious traveling festival of fab females formerly known as the Lilith Fair returned 11 years later to the Denver area on July 13 rebranded as the Lilith Tour.
Among the notable absentees at the uncomfortably retitled Comfort Dental Amphitheatre were eager fans willing to spring for $100 tickets in the lower level that was about two-thirds empty, along with previously announced major attractions Kelly Clarkson and Miranda Lambert.
The name recognition factor plummeted considerably when they dropped out after 10 more show cancellations were announced during the first week of the tour because of soft ticket sales. Shows in Phoenix (in protest of Arizona’s immigration law) and Nashville were canceled earlier and Atlanta became a later casualty, forcing the tour to end prematurely in Washington, D.C. on August 3 instead of August 16 in Dallas.
Lilith co-founder and headliner Sarah McLachlan, still blessed with the loveliest voice in the pop-rock genre, at least was able to bring along the First Lady of Americana, Emmylou Harris, to make up for the lack of star power in Englewood, Colorado, just south of the Mile High City. And while the two veterans showed why they appeal to different audiences, their appearances also served as a constant reminder of those groundbreaking glory days of Lilith’s past. (Harris embraces McLachlan after their duet of "Angel" opened McLachlan's 12-song set.)
In 1999, ending a triumphant three-year run when Lilith became synonymous with female empowerment, the lineup at this same venue, then called Fiddler’s Green and packed from the bottom to the altitude-challenging lawn seats, included Natalie Merchant, the Pretenders, the Dixie Chicks and, on a small side stage, Patty Griffin.
Of course, young 2010 artists such as Erin McCarley, Anya Marina, local talent search winner Liz Clark and the sweet sisterly act of Shel might one day emerge from the Village or ABC stages just like performers as diverse as Neko Case and Christina Aguilera did more than a decade ago.