To the average person, the constant travel, tight schedules, and last minute changes of a national tour can seem daunting
That is unless you’re a single mother of two, in which case it might sound rather routine.
“Life at home is actually more hectic than life on the road,” said Sarah McLachlan, who happens to be both.
Between pick ups, drop offs, ballet, homework, and her own music school for underprivileged kids, McLachlan sloshes through the chaos of balancing roles of musician and mommy.
“I have barely started rehearsing,” McLachlan said in a pre-tour interview that was rescheduled because of her daughter’s pre-kindergarten graduation. “I haven’t played these songs since last year. Its more of a juggling act right now, on the road it’s quite simple.”
Even her tour, which comes to MGM Grand July 7, has turned into a time for family fun.
“My daughters are coming with me for the whole three weeks, which is great,” McLachlan said. “It’s basically a big ol’ camping trip.”
This go-around is a little different than previous tours. Rather than a small group of musicians, McLachlan will have the backing of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.
The concept got a test run last year with a series of four concerts on the West coast and in Denver. The performances added layers of such luscious beauty that McLachlan said she wanted a full tour.
“It was transcendental for me… It puts a whole new spin on playing these songs. To have that kind of power behind it, it’s really fantastic.”
Most of the colder months saw McLachlan back in the studio working on a new album. The stress of a self-imposed recording deadline proved to be too much, and she decided to let it lapse for another season.
“Everything started gearing up a few months ago, and with so many different things going on and so many hats to wear I sort of became overwhelmed with it,” she said. “I’m going to be getting back to it in earnest in the Fall, when the kids are back in school.”
This studio experience was far different from recording 2010′s “Laws Of Illusion.” At that time McLachlan recently split from husband Ashwin Sood.
“I’m in a really great place. I’m happy with the decisions I’ve made and where I’m at,” she said, describing how her headspace had changed since then. “My struggles continually evolve and change.”
One struggle she sees continuing is that of women in rock and popular music. Nearly two decades after the Lilith Fair festival catapulted into the public eye, McLachlan said there’s been progress, but some stereotypes remain.
“Lilith certainly put women in a different light in perspective of the old boys club in music industry,” she said. “Do I think antiquated attitudes of the old boys club changed? No. But forced by popular demand, things did shift certainly.”
McLachlan’s biggest concern is that past feminist achievements could give young women a false sense of security in rights that either don’t exist, or might be taken away.
“Like the woman [State Rep. Lisa Brown] in Michigan, who was kicked off the [legislative] floor for saying vagina. Or even talking about abortion rights, or that those rights could be easily rescinded depending on how people vote. That’s still obviously a hotbed of conversation.”
“There’s very little equality anywhere. Things have certainly gotten much better, but women still get paid less in a lot of jobs. We can’t rest on our laurels and say ‘Oh we’re all equal, we can move on from that.’”
Sarah McLachlan brings her Symphony Orchestra tour to MGM Grand at Foxwoods this Saturday, July 7.
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