I Loved Lilith Fair: ‘Like Bonnaroo and Dinah Shore Had a Small Event-Child’

Friday night, I was lucky enough to venture to an amphitheater with every other lesbian in St. Louis to see Lilith Fair! I was a little young to catch Lilith’s ’90s-era Girl Power Glory (I’m 22), so this was my first Lilith experience.

The attendance at the St. Louis show was pretty lackluster, honestly, but who the hell cares really. It might not be back next year so if you can make another date this summer, GO. It’s a cultural experiene, if nothing else.

Disclaimer: These photos are not awesome. We realize that. I couldn’t bring my camera to the show, and Lilith didn’t wanna give us any press/photo passes this year, so this is the best I could do. All these photos were taken with my HTC Incredible, maybe you should read about it.

I showed up around 6 p.m. to catch the band I was the most amped to see, Metric. They only played a half hour set but Emily Haines managed to rock it regardless. I’d gotten into the VIP section (long story), which is generally an older crowd as us millenialls don’t have the money to buy those tickets. I imagined that most of Metric‘s typical fans were back on the lawn, but I was happy to see that the people around me did seem to really get into their music.

lilith fair

After Metric came The Court Yard Hounds, which is actually the Dixie Chicks minus one chick and plus a new name. I enjoy a good banjo solo as much as the next Southern-born girl, but I was more interested in checking out the crowd.

Obvs Lilith’s target market is women. And lesbians. I was expecting to see a decent number of gay ladies, but good god I think every lesbian over 30 in the entire state was there. And except for gay men, older husbands, and that one tattooed guy who f*cking loved Sarah McLachlan, men were pretty scarce. It felt like Bonnaroo and Dinah Shore had a small event-child.

lilith fair lesbians

Then came Emmylou Harris, who looks great for 70 or however old she is. I went and found some beer during her set, and then came back for Mary J. Blige, who was predictably awesome. She covered One and Stairway to Heaven, so I consider that an hour of my life well spent.

And then it was time for Sarah McLachlan! To me, Sarah has always been that vaguely Irish woman who had a lot of emotions in the ’90s. Not that I didn’t like her, she’s just never been on my iPod. But she was super good, and her new songs sound a lot like Sheryl Crow, which is up my alley. Coincidentally, that man in the photo down there is Sheryl’s old guitarist! I think his name is Peter.

lilith fair

It turns out that Sarah McLachlan is My Type. I was unaware of this until halfway through her first song. Seriously, you guys, she’s really pretty and very into feminism and stuff. I had to gchat Executive Editor Laneia in the middle of that “arms of the angels” song to talk about this:

Me: hello i have never felt this before, but i am attracted to Sarah McLachlan
i have never felt that either, but she’s you’re type, totally
her arms are like whoa
yeah she is, I never realized that
seriously I can’t handle her shoulder muscles
Laneia: !
i hope you’re taking pictures
Me: as best I can, they are so so
oh god, now she’s leaning
on a piano

Although the St. Louis photos aren’t up yet on the Lilith website, it probably looked something like this:

After Sarah was done, all the girls came out to sing “Because the Night,” and it felt like the greatest karaoke moment ever. McLachlan kept being really adorable with Emily Haines, whispering in her ear and stuff, and Ingrid Michaelson was really dorky, and I almost died. The end.

lilith fair

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Sarah lives in Chicago with her partner and her big white Great Dane. She is a lawyer by day and a beer brewer/bread baker/knitter by night. She & her partner are currently learning how to grow their own food, and eventually they hope to move to a small farm outside the city. In 2009-2010, before jetting off to law school, Sarah was Autostraddle's Managing Editor.

Sarah has written 127 articles for us.


  1. sarah mclachlan gets me to sleep at night. i probably would have gone to lilith just to see her but alas they cancelled the montreal date.

  2. If you swap Metric for Kate Nash and Emmylou Harris for Heart, this is pretty much my Saturday. Except I was there (Lilith Chicago) all day and caught a few smaller bands (Vita Chambers and Vedera, check them out!) while I was working the Reverb tent. SO. MANY. GAYDIES. And listening to Sarah McLachlan made me feel like high school.

  3. I pretty much had the same weekend as Sarah (Lilith/Gaga) right down to the Sarah M attraction-realization. It really was the arms. I think the arms did it. you guys don’t even know.

  4. Sarah and I are in love. She said so on stage! the end.

    I mean, okay, she also said they she was in love with everyone else there too, but i think she just didn’t want them to feel left out, right? (Right?)

    Also, i had no idea that CourtYard Hounds where two of the Dixie Chicks! I liked them a lot, and remember thinking, “how have i not heard of these women before?”

    • Now we know why they were there on the mainstage! (I’m still waiting for that pic to show up on FB, btw…)

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