Soundchecks Music Reviews

Lilith fair

Aviva / Direct DVD

LILITH FAIR

review by Gary Couzens

The Lilith Fair tour took place in 1997. It's founder, Sarah McLachlan, intended it to be a corrective to a male-dominated industry and a celebration of women's work in folk and rock music. This DVD alternates between concert footage and backstage interviews. Each of the participants has stories to tell: how music company executives think that women don't sell tickets, and especially not all-female concerts, there would be catfights, and so on. The success of Lilith Fair proved them wrong.

On the bill are, in order of appearance: McLachlan, Jewel, The Indigo Girls, Meredith Brooks, Shawn Colvin and Sheryl Crow. To British audiences, Crow and Jewel will be the best known, though the biggest hit single performed here is Brooks' Bitch. There should certainly be something for most people, though the interview footage tends towards the bland.

Lilith Fair (90 minutes, 2000) was shot on video for TV broadcast and directed by Alex Jamison. Most of the time the picture is very sharp though there are occasional problems with the contrast in darker moments. You have the choice of Dolby digital 5.1 and 2.0 soundtracks, but there's no question that the former is the superior. There are subtitles in ten European languages, but English is oddly not one of them. Also, only the dialogue is subtitled: none of the song lyrics are (presumably for copyright reasons).


Edited by Tony Lee
for PIGASUS Press