Sarah Slean at The Granville Island StagePhotos by Alex Ramon
After watching shows in bar after bar after bar, it’s nice to get away from all the belligerent drunks and into a nice sit down venue such as The Granville Island Stage. The last time I was there, I saw David Blair put on an amazing performance that left me speechless. The acoustics were perfect and the mood was just right for his genre of music. With that memory in mind, I had high hopes for Sarah Slean’s set and I sure wasn’t disappointed. She’s got so much talent; she didn’t even need an opening act, or a backup band for that matter. It was just her lonesome self, accompanied by a beautiful grand piano centred on the stage, with a vase of Gerberas (a type of flower… don’t ask me how I know…) sitting on the side table.
As Sarah walked on to that stage, she strutted her stuff and showcased her beautiful dress (she looked like an enchanted fairy hopping along to the melodies in her head). As soon as she graced her delicate fingers on those ivory pearls, she displayed her soulful and folky voice that blasted into the ears of every attentive soul in the audience. Throughout each of her songs, she closed her eyes and revealed the passion she has for music. In my opinion, she’s one of the most underrated Canadian musicians and she deserves so much more, especially with the well of talent she possesses. She’s an artist in the truest sense because her lyrics are more than just words, they’re thought provoking.
I really enjoyed her entire set, and to be honest, I was awe struck the moment she walked out on stage. When she played “Eliot,” a tribute to T.S. Eliot, where she had the crowd in the palm of her hands. They were all silent and attentive, and it was a little eerie to be honest. She played “Get Home,” a song about a cheating bastard in the key of C+. It was both sweet and soulful, and when she uttered that thoughtful line of “you fake your way to the finish line,” I had an instant vision of that poor soul she was singing about. But the highlight of the night had to be her cover of Madonna’s “Material Girl.” Not only was Sarah pitch perfect, she was also theatrical and lively. I still can’t believe she pulled that off with just her piano.