Once Upon an Ancient Road….

Ancient Road cropped picture

When the Sexy Boyfriend told me that he had tried getting tickets for Loreena McKennit’s new tour (I had no idea she had even been going on tour) I was ecstatic. I listened to her as I was growing up and remember when my parents had gone to see her when she toured for The Visit and they brought me back some of the postcards from the show. I still have those.

Not seeing her in concert at that time was crushing. My step father played her music all the time and it was like listening to magic. That’s as close as I can get to describing her voice. So when the Sexy Boyfriend called me back and told me he had gotten tickets to see the Saturday December 1st show at the National Art Gallery, I was beyond the moon excited.

The whole experience was special for a variety of reasons for me, not the least of which was the fact that it would be my first official “concert”. I’ve seen performers in bars and what have you and close to beer tents. None of those count. However, Loreena’s performance went beyond a concert. It truly was magic personified.

She sang for three hours with one fifteen minute break (thank goodness the lines weren’t too bad for the men’s room as they were for the ladies, oy!) and even did two encores. When the Sexy Boyfriend told me that the show would go from eight in the evening until eleven at night, I didn’t believe him at all.

However, it totally did!

I’ve seen lots of plays and musicals and theatre shows, so when the show ended, I started getting on my coat and prepared to leave. The Sexy Boyfriend turned to me and said don’t worry, she’ll be back. She sang two more gorgeous songs and I left the theatre sated with music and song. The whole show was so seamlessly and simply done and it just flowed together, much like a journey along an ancient road: you might meet some people along the way and learn a thing or two.

Laureena McKennitt was lovely and wonderful between numbers. As she sang and played multiple instruments (I counted three kinds of pianos, an accordion and the harp) along with her band, she shared a bit of where she’d been and what she’d done and how she ended up where she was. During the show, she spoke of a play that she had tried to put on and sang and played two pieces that would have been. I don’t remember the titles but I came away with the feeling that Loreena McKennitt gave us a one woman show in its own way. It may not have been the play she envisioned, but she gave the audience a treat and a journey nonetheless.

Having played for three hours, it would be impossible to go over each song that she sung. But The Ottawa Citizen did do a glowing review that gives the entire playlist, including the encores! You can find that here:


Out of every song she sung, there were three that stuck with me most. Here are the youtube video’s for them. A mini youtube playlist, if you will.

The Lady of Shallot


Bonny Podmore


Dickens Dublin


One thing’s for sure, the entire evening (and the weekend leading up to it) was magic in its very essence. I mentioned a few reasons why the evening was so magical. One had to do with the fact that it was my first concert. One had to do with seeing Loreena McKennit. The other has to do with the Sexy Boyfriend.

That’s because, for such a magical evening, there isn’t any other person I would have chosen to share it with.

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