On Monday night, The Philly POPS performed at The Met Philadelphia with Grammy award-winning musician Sarah McLachlan. This concert was the first in The Philly POPS at the Met Philadelphia concert series.
Simply put, The Philly POPS- the largest standalone pops orchestra in the United States- is just incredible. I’ve personally seen them perform shows devoted to the music of Elton John, Leonard Bernstein, The Beatles, the ’80s, and Broadway. But their seasons have covered so much more than just that small example. The orchestra has adapted so well to so many genres and the songbooks of countless musician over the past 40 seasons.
The songs of Sarah McLachlan were a perfect match for The POPS, however, and Monday night’s show turned out to be one of the best concert experiences I’ve ever had. It’s been twenty years since I’ve seen Sarah perform at Lilith Fair in 1999 and I’ve been listening to her music ever since (and before that even). These songs tell stories and seeing her at the beautiful Met backed by The POPS gave her music a whole new meaning. Sarah spoke to us, telling us the inspirations behind her songs, why she created them, why she loved them. The venue is large, but designed to evoke an intimate feeling between the audience and the musician. Having our POPS on stage with her made everything feel even more personal.
The POPS, under the direction of maestro Sean O’Loughlin, performed the entire show with Sarah. “I Will Remember You”, “Building a Mystery”, “Sweet Surrender”, “Ice Cream” and “Adia” were all there, as well as an encore that included “Angel”. As someone who has listened to Sarah’s music on repeat for many years, songs felt brand new on Monday night as they were performed live and with the POPS. The orchestra was flawless and being able to blend with the voice of Sarah McLachlan without overpowering her is no easy task; something only a world-class orchestra like the POPS could handle. They were made for each other.
The Philly POPS upcoming season of performances at the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall include shows highlighting the music of Hollywood, composer Marvin Hamlisch, Aretha Franklin, Phil Collins and Genesis, Abbey Road, Sinatra, and Stephen Sondheim. They’re all paired with special guest vocalists and no matter which show you attend, you’ll be treated to a unique experience that will never be matched.
As previously mentioned, The POPS with Sarah McLachlan was the first in a series of shows at the Met featuring the orchestra. Upcoming collaborations include the POPS with Queen, a Christmas show, and Disney’s Broadway hits. Next up, this October The Philly POPS will perform the score from The Nightmare Before Christmas alongside the film. Everyone is invited to attend in costume; Tim Burton-themed costumes are encouraged!
Tickets to all shows can be purchased here.