Sarah Terez Rosenblum (@SarahTerez) is an MFA-holding writer, teacher and Spinning instructor. She's also the Theater Listings Editor for Centerstage Chicago. Look for her posts twice a week.
OMG, big news: coming this weekend to Chicago, a multi-genre, all star outdoor music fest! Not the trendy farm implement one, this festival is named for a contentious biblical ex-wife! It’s under-promoted, misguidedly marketed and badly timed! It’s Lilith Fair (The Return).
Heart, Mary J Blige and founder Sarah McLachlan headline the rain-or-shine event held at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre. Kicking off at noon Saturday, the fest originally boasted acts like Kelly Clarkson and quirky musician Cat Powers. In the months since the festival’s lineup was announced, however, both vanished from the Chicago bill. On a scale of domestic abuse survivor Rihanna dueting with noted misogynist Eminem on a ditty which includes the lyric I love it the more that I suffer to Scarlet and Sandra’s recent “life goes on” kiss,this career move strikes me as a solid smooch.
Also gone are 10 other tour dates, including one in McLachlan’s native Canada; which kind of begs the question: If the Canadians can’t sustain Sarah’s musical love child, why did the rest of us have to sit through that trippy Olympic opening Sarah-mony?
While I don’t begrudge Clarkson for withdrawing, nor the cool kids headed for Pitchfork, seeing Lilith struggle is kind of like watching your slow older sister realize no one wants to buy her homemade patchouli oil; you sort of want to hang out and show solidarity, but her patchwork floral skirt is all dirty, and her “Patchouli for sale sign!!” depresses you. Plus Pavement goes on in 20 minutes and you’re already late.
Then again, Pitchfork’s Facebook page claims 3,723 followers to Lilith’s 80,309, and if every Lilith fan bought just one vial, your sister could quit her job at the head shop and follow Eminem around the country protesting, just like she’s always dreamed. Yeah, maybe just go to Pitchfork.