Artist: Sarah Slean
Date: February 15, 2000
Opening Act: Tori Cassis (yes, I know they played in reverse order)
Venue: Collected Sounds Living Room
City: Minneapolis, MN
Review by [Amy Lotsberg] Producer of Collected Sounds
I hosted my first Living Room Concert featuring Sarah Slean and Tory Cassis on Tuesday night February 15th. Background on performers:
Sarah Slean is a singer songwriter from Toronto, ON. She plays piano and sings like an angel.
Tory Cassis is a guitar player-singer-songwriter also from Toronto. He was nominated for a Juno Award for Best New Male Artist for 2000 and though he did not win, he deserved to!
Well since this was my very first Living Room Concert I was a bit nervous but as soon as the band got there I was put at ease. They are all so very nice and easy-going.
The musicians consisted of: Sarah, Tory, Bass Player Derek Brady and Mark Mariash on the Drums.
They set up their “stage” in our dining room, which adjoins to the living room. Luckily we didn’t have a lot of furniture to move since we didn’t have much in our dining room! People started arriving and the band took a little break to get some dinner while we chit-chatted and in some cases, got to know each other. Most of the folks in the room I knew but some others had heard about the show from either the internet or were friends of friends so it was a mixed group. One person (Hi Travis!) drove 12 hours from Regina Saskatchewan to be there!
Sarah opened and from the first note she played she had us all in the palm of her hand. Some of her songs are very low-key and semi quiet and while she played these it was so still in the room you could hear a pin drop.
There were some folks there who were familiar with her music and she took requests as well as performing the songs she had planned to hear. I think one of the highlights was when the whole thing was over and almost everyone had left, one fan said to her, “I was really hoping you would play ‘Blue Parade’ tonight.” so she sat right back down at the piano and played it just for him (and the 4 or 5 others that were still there). It was such a treat! She is an amazing and captivating performer.
Tory Cassis performed next. No one in the room had even heard of him before this night. I think he felt a little strange about that since he is so well known in Canada but he treated us all like we were good friends. It’s hard to describe his style since it changes from song to song.
Sometimes he sounds like Bob Dylan (only with a much nicer and sexier voice), other times he rocked out and reminded us of the band Morphine (the voice not so much the music). He also sang a couple of “swingin” type songs where he sounded like Harry Connick, Jr or Ol’ Blue Eyes.
He was truly amazing. It doesn’t hurt that he is a very sweet guy (and not bad lookin’ either!)
My three dogs were a bit of a challenge. One of them, Murphy, is one of those dogs that has to be the center of attention. He didn’t like it so much that there were 20 people in the house that were paying attention to something other than him. So he remedied that by wandering through the set and barking at the audience. I think it was hard for Sarah & Tory not to laugh! But they were very cool about it and played along.