Give me a performance where you are so close to the artist that you can reach out and touch her. Where she not only gives a great show, not only sings with a beauty that brings me to the verge of tears, but she also talks to her audience, makes us feel like we're a smaller group than we are already, where she brings an intimacy that you cannot achieve on a big stage.
She saw me and said hello and called me a friend as she took to the stage. As she left it, she took my outstretched hand and squeezed it. We chatted after the show, as her many adoring fans came to congratulate her and thank her for the wonderful evening.
I can die now.
Yes, give me a small venue every time.
Sidebar: It should be duly noted that Sarah had to call in a last-minute change to the string quartet that so beautifully accompanied her. Ottawa's own Thaddeus Morden learned all of the numbers over the course of the day, leading up to Wednesday night's show at North on 29, in Mississippi Mills. And though he hit a slight snag at the start of the first number, "Weight" (my favourite Sarah Slean song), he shone through the rest of the night. Being the only cellist, he had no one to hide behind, and he didn't need to hide at all. Bravo!