Before going to see Tim and Faith on Monday night I had heard a lot about the Soul 2 Soul tour, some good, some bad, from "the tickets are way too expensive" to "they're worth every penny." I must say that I am leaning towards the "worth every penny" opinion.
Apparently, there were supposed to be stages set up outside the venue where pre-show concerts would be playing. I was looking forward to possibly seeing Nashville Star contestant Lance Miller, but unfortunately the outdoor stages were not set up at the Air Canada Center (ACC) in Toronto. There is a great deal of construction going on outside the arena and there was no where the stages could be placed.
After paying $40 to park my truck, half in the parking lot and half of the sidewalk, we headed into the ACC. We got to our front row seats just a few minutes before the opening act took the stage. I will warn you, if you have seats in the first 5 rows or so you will likely be watching a lot of the concert on the small TVs they have set up. Front row seats aren't all that great for this tour. There is a positive though, if you're up front you will likely get to touch Tim and Faith's hand at least once.
I guess I should start by trying to describe the intricate stage set up. Since I was so close to the front I didn't get to see the top of the stage much, just on the way into and out of the venue. But I will try my best to describe it. There was a square platform in the middle and then 4 catwalks running from each side. Two of the catwalks (we'll say to the left and right) were level with the center platform. The other two (front and back) were lower and there were a few steps down to these catwalks. So picture a square stage in the middle, sitting on top of a wider square which creates a walkway all the way around, then 4 catwalks coming off the middle. A picture would have been so much better wouldn't it?
After the opening act, singer-songwriter Lori McKenna, Tim and Faith took the stage. Faith started singing "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol and she appeared on one side of the catwalk. Tim showed up soon after on the far side of the catwalk and they faced each other to sing, moving closer and closer until they were both at center stage.
When the duet ended Tim left the stage and Faith began her set. She started off with one of her first hits, "Wild One," which she followed with a couple more up-tempo songs before showing off her powerful vocals on a ballad, "Cry." This was the first time I had seen Faith in concert and I was very impressed with just how incredible her voice really is. Listening to her albums and radio singles doesn't do justice to the power and control she has, it really is much more impressive to hear her sing live.
There wasn't much talking at all during her set. She may have paused a couple of times to address the audience, but for the most part it was all singing. Some people prefer that, but personally I would sacrifice a song or two to have more audience interaction. I like to see the performer take the time to show their personality, and make an effort to talk to the crowd a little bit.
Oh wow, the fashion police are going to be after me if I don't at least comment on what Faith was wearing. She had on a dark blue jumpsuit-styled outfit that was completely covered with sparkly sequins. My camera didn't like the shiny outfit and I had some difficulty getting good shots. My friend that came to the concert with me said Faith's outfit was a little too "Elvis" for her taste! And I think I'm inclined to agree. But heck, Faith is gorgeous and she could make a garbage bag look classy!
Faith ended her set with "Mississippi Girl" which John Rich, of Big and Rich, wrote for her. I was really hoping she would share that story with the audience because I don't think a lot of people know that the song was wrote specifically for her to tell her story.
All in all I think Faith is an incredible singer and has a stunning presence, but I wasn't overly excited with her performance. Perhaps being the woman that I am, I was just a little too anxious to have Tim back on the stage, but by the end of Faith's set, I was ready for it to end.