Whether they've been dragged or come willingly, the men here aren't about to crack jokes about armpit hair so long it can be braided, or about lesbians and their love of cargo shorts. They are overwhelmingly, achingly, tolerant. (The gay guys seem to be the exception to this rule. "We didn't really want to see boobs everywhere," Sloan says of some of the women who are strolling around with their shirts off.) But for the most part, the male Lilith-goer is the kind of guy who instead of waiting for his girlfriend outside the o.b. tampon tent (called the "Lilipad") goes inside with her to pick up a free hot-pink plastic carrying case. "I got some strange looks," says Forrest Bray, 24, from Spokane, of walking in with his girlfriend, "but it's like, hey, free shit." He won tickets through a radio station. "I'm stoked," he says as he peels a grapefruit. "I've been listening to Sarah McLachlan forever and I love that song Colbie Caillat did with Jason Mraz. Half of my Zune is girls. I don't say, 'She's a girl. She can't make music.'"
"We didn't really want to see boobs everywhere," says Steven Sloan.
(The lone guy working in the o.b. booth says it wasn't his worst gig ever. "I once did a Foster Farms promotion where we had to wear chicken hats," he explains. "Putting on a tampon shirt isn't so bad.")
You might think some single men would have come to pick up women. Todd Bagley, 21, from Sedro Woolley, Washington, who's walking around shirtless with an armband tattoo, is one of the few solo guys around, but he's not alone by design. He and his girlfriend were supposed to come together but broke up the night before the show. "I figured this was a good place for me to be," he says with a shrug as he carries two beers to the lawn. Ms. McLachlan herself wonders why more males don't take advantage of the target-rich environment. "I always thought guys were stupid for not showing up because there's a bevy of beautiful women out here," she said in an interview.
Kevin Winters, 22, from Rochester, New York, who packed himself and the two male friends he brought with him pastrami and turkey sandwiches for dinner, has news for Ms. McLachlan about that bevy of beautiful women. "They're old enough to be my mom," he says. He came to meet Alison Sudol, 24, the lead singer of A Fine Frenzy, who's performing on the second stage. "I got a kiss, too," he brags.
Dustin Gannon grew up listening to his mom's collection of Lilith Fair musicians.
The whole day does have a slightly dated feel to it, maybe because to the crowd, including the guys there, these women are no longer ingenues—they're legends. Dustin Gannon, 22, from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, wearing faded plaid shorts and a Livestrong bracelet, is there because his mom played McLachlan and Crow nonstop while he was growing up. "My guy friends wouldn't come," he says, "and I was like, 'Really? It's freaking Sheryl Crow.'" By the time McLachlan is supposed to come on, he's had five beers and two of his sister's Smirnoff Ices and is pumped up. "I'll be so excited listening to every song," he says, dancing a little. "I'll be singing along."
In an odd and not-very-Lilith move, ABC screens an episode of Cougar Town before McLachlan steps onstage, but then there she is: sitting at glossy black piano and opening her set with "Angel." One imagines Gannon, now lifting up his voice— along with his can of Coors Light—up.Read More:
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