Travel & Culture

Have You Heard About … Sarah McLachlan’s 2024 Fumbling Towards Ecstasy Tour

May 26, 2024

Mahsa Di Placito is host of one of our favourite pop-culture podcasts, Have You Heard About…, and we’ve signed her on to write a column for Vita Daily! In her column, she’ll break down notable moments in culture and why they matter. For more detailed analyses about all things pop culture, catch up on the podcast here and follow along on Instagram.

Sarah McLachlan’s Fumbling Towards Ecstasy Tour is a Masterclass in Connection

As an elder millennial, I was a little too young to appreciate Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, Sarah McLachlan’s breakthrough 1993 record, in its original debut. But just four years later, Surfacing was playing on repeat in my CD player, in particular the transcendent Angel, which would take me another two decades to realize was a song about heroin addiction, and not the sadness of a long, lost love. While I didn’t get to experience Lilith Fair, the all-female music festival that Sarah founded in its heyday, I have vivid memories of my much cooler, older cousins raving about the energy of it. I pictured Doc Marten-clad women in babydoll dresses, singing along furiously to Building a Mystery, with an air of sisterhood and camaraderie akin to any woman’s nightclub washroom at 2 a.m. So, when she announced a 30-city tour (since expanded), to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, I had to be there, girlfriends in tow.

I was particularly curious about the “sisterhood” vibe of what the concert might be, especially since we’ve heard so much about how this has defined Taylor Swift’s Eras tour. I was lucky enough to get tickets to the very first stop on her tour, in her hometown of Vancouver, at the Pacific Coliseum. What I found is truthfully hard to put into words. It wasn’t sisterhood exactly, more like a nostalgic bending of time that saw the original wave of her fandom rediscover the magic of Fumbling live. Time doing what it does, we’ve grown from teens and young adults discovering her music on dorm room floors or in the CD player of our best friends car, to fully formed grown ups with a whole new set of angst. We’ve traded in our woes about school crushes and cramming for tests for millennial angst over interest rates, marital strife and the chaos of parenthood. And yet, Sarah’s music remains wickedly relevant, and she doesn’t miss a single beat.

The show starts off strong with the unmistakeable synth pop chords of Sweet Surrender, as she continues to play all of her biggest hits, including the FTE album in its entirety, a grateful nod to the fans who love the lesser known titles she doesn’t often play live. The whole show, nearly a whopping 2.5-hour setlist, felt like an outpouring of mutual love and gratitude. Sarah, still chuffed that she can sell out stadiums after a long hiatus, and fans, deep in their (mostly) Gen X/Elder Millennial feels.

A counterpoint to the digitally accessible current class of rising pop stars who are a mere social media click away, Sarah let’s us miss her. She’s not always promoting something, nor putting out eight variations of “limited-edition” records; she represents maybe the last era of rock-pop stardom that really was just about the music, and the places it transports us to. Her soundstage could have been ripped from the 1990s: no crazy effects, ripped dancers or LED neon bracelets that pulse to the beat of the music. Simply some strobe lights in different colours, and something that honestly resembles old Christmas lights strung across the stage with a few lanterns and screens. By design, everything about her show is spectacularly ’90s coded, down to the green sparkly “going out” top she wears during the second set! This exact show could have taken place in 1998 and you wouldn’t bat an eye, it glides by on her ethereal vocals and connection with her audience, who she spoke directly to throughout the show. There were some major shares, including a new album in the works and performing a brand new song, Gravity, from it, and the surprising origins from which the song Aria came (you’ll have to attend the show to find out).

As we’ve grown up with Sarah, she too has grown up with us. In attendance were her two daughters, India and Taja, who she describes as being “so f***ing proud of.” Her easy stage presence and the way she sways and moves her body to her own songs is best described as sophisticated conjuring, a skill she’s mastered after 30-plus years on a stage. By the time she ended her show with an encore, Angel, we were all under her spell. Witchy sisterhood vibes, indeed. She’s announced more dates, including additional shows in B.C., which you can purchase directly off her website


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


get social


get more out of


Want the best, curated headlines and trends on the fly?

get more out of vita

Sign up for one, or sign up for all!