lifeblood: songs: backgrounds: big yellow taxi


1994-05-02: peach buzz, the atlanta journal constitution:

environmental overtime for indigos: even though the ads for "earth jam '94" stressed "a brief appearance" by the indigo girls, amy ray (sporting a green lantern t-shirt) and emily saliers spent more time on stage than any other performers at saturday's sold-out environmental benefit concert held, ironically, at that bastion of politically incorrectness - stone mountain park. the duo joined local artist viva la diva (for a rendition of the clash's "london calling") and kristen hall (for neil young's "southern man") before playing their headlining set. "these events are beautiful," saliers said at a backstage news conference. "combining something as joyous as music with something as powerful as action." the daylong earth love-in culminated with an all-star jam featuring ray, saliers, hall, nanci griffith, jackson browne, and mary chapin carpenter, among others, who happily jangled through elvis costello's "(what's so funny 'bout) peace, love and understanding," joni mitchell's "big yellow taxi,'' and cat stevens's "where will the children play?" proceeds from the concert benefited the planet green foundation, the environmental fund for georgia and the chattahoochee river keeper project.

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1998-02-25: missy "misdemeanor" elliott brings the funk to the fair, rolling stone:

next came the three headliners, who played fine '70s-style folk- rock sets; the only flaw was that they were following elliott. but the indigo girls and sheryl crow rose to the challenge with hard- rocking bravado. and mclachlan performed the closing ceremonies like the pope in st. peter's square, stroking the crowd generously with equal doses of lilith-speak ("i want to thank the goddess, mother nature and mother earth for smiling down on us") and old-fashioned showbiz savvy. her grand finale was an all-star sing-along version of joni mitchell's "big yellow taxi," a strange way to send your audience back out to the parking lot. like the rest of the evening, it was an intriguing mix of mclachlan's idealism and the seedy realities of stadium rock. at one point, a sarah clone on the lawn in a black velvet dress was moved to yell, "hey, yo, beer guy!" she then turned to her girlfriend and explained, "i've always wanted to say that."

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1998-06-24: a mclachlan group hug, the los angeles daily news:

"it was loads of fun and really inspiring last year because you got to see so many great artists," maclean, 24, said, adding that a '97 highlight was singing the festival encore, joni mitchell's "big yellow taxi," with mclachlan, colvin, paula cole and the indigos. "plus, it was great watching tracy chapman from backstage."

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1998-06-25: you go, girls!, the phoenix new times:

perhaps the thing that best sums up the success of lilith fair is the feel-good atmosphere. it's one of the few concert events where you can see parents with small children alongside nose-pierced teenagers, and no one looks out of place. and in an era where many people attend this sort of concert as much for the spectacle as for the music, it was a delight to attend last year's show and see people who actually sat in their seats and listened! no matter what anyone says about the diversity of the artists, the grand finale of last year's tour featuring mclachlan, jewel, indigo girls, and meredith brooks all onstage performing joni mitchell's "big yellow taxi" was a priceless musical moment.

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2001-04-29: video, the london sunday times:

lilith fair *** aviva international, e, 90 mins, 1997; pounds 13.99 (vhs), pounds 19.99 (dvd)

an intriguing music video featuring one of the most successful concert tours in recent history - the first all-female affair. lilith fair was the brainchild of the canadian singer-songwriter sarah mclachlan; featured artists include sheryl crow, shawn colvin and indigo girls, and as well as the mostly splendid music, you get interviews and jams with all involved. the highlight is a group version of joni mitchell's big yellow taxi. refreshing.

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2019-09-30: building a mystery: an oral history of lilith fair, vanity fair:

"hey, we're doing a sing-along. please come and be part of it. kumbaya, rah-rah."

mclachlan: it might have been emily [indigo girls] that said we should do a sing-along. i'm like, yeah, that's a great idea. i wrote it in the note that i gave to everybody: "hey, we're doing a sing-along. please come and be part of it. kumbaya, rah-rah."

phair: i was always late for the sing-along. they'd all just look at me running in my little platform shoes, and they'd shake their heads and be like, oh, liz.

cath runnals: walking backstage in the hallways and listening to these women vocalize, learning "big yellow taxi," so that they could sing it together at the end of the show. it could give you goosebumps.

sheffield: joni mitchell had spent years giving really hilarious quotes about how much she hated sheryl crow. and jewel. it was funny to see the sing-along with everybody doing "big yellow taxi," and i was like, wow. joni has slammed almost all these people at some point. but sarah made this really great introduction before doing "big yellow taxi"-that she wanted to do a song by a woman who had done so much for women in music. i was like, yeah. sarah must be the only one onstage who has never been denounced by joni.

crow: i remember me, chrissie hynde, and indigo girls coming out to do the big sing-along at the end, which generally nobody wants to do. and i don't think we had any idea how irreverent sarah could be. and she came out and turned around, pulled down her tube top, and flashed us while we were performing.

furtado: sarah would invite all of us on her huge stage for her encore to sing with her every single night. she was incredibly generous in giving us exposure.

bernhard: backstage, chrissie hynde and i were singing "superstar" by leon russell-[sings] "long ago, and oh so far away, i fell in love with you"-and we thought we should end the show with that. they were doing some sort of sappy song, and we forced everybody to go out and sing "superstar." it's about a girl who waits for some guy and goes back to his hotel, and does what all groupies do-and here we are, all women performers. it was layered and ironic and beautiful. that's one of my fondest memories of being on tour.

williams: these women had been touring a lot. they knew you'd have these cold nights. there was jewel wearing a matching sweater set-this whole beautiful cashmere sweater. sarah was wearing a sweater set. meredith brooks. all of these women wearing these elegant sweater sets. i'm wearing a blue sweatshirt. i look like a small refrigerator in this boxy sweatshirt. then i heard this voice coming from the stage right, saying, "hey, dar, come on our mic with us." it was indigo girls. they were wearing big gray sweatshirts. i felt, at its very best, lilith fair was saying, "there's a lot of ways to be a woman."


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