I only ever got to witness Big Sugar live in Kingston once which also happened to be the last time which they played in Kingston. But on Friday night they picked up where they left off a few years ago but with a new album in tow. Also to top it all off Wide Mouth Mason opened up the show, completing the title of their tour called The Big And Wide Tour.
I previously saw Wide Mouth Mason and Big Sugar show earlier this year during the Canadian Music Week in Toronto so I had an pretty good idea for what was about to come during the night.
Wide Mouth Mason to me came out and put on a better show then their previous show at the Mansion, maybe it was the fact that the Alehouse was already packed and they were on a bigger stage but this show was definitely better that their previous show. Shaun wasted no time in showing his guitar skills, and showing off for the audience. Wide Mouth Mason opened up with what I thought was a surprise was “Why”, which also happens to be one my favourite Wide Mouth Mason song. At the start of their set there were more cries for Gordie than anything else. This time right from the beginning they were right into their groove and were feeding off and taking leads off of each other. I always found it a little interesting how Gordie is now able to take it a little easier on himself and float around in the background in a band instead of being right in the spotlight for the entire set. I don’t know if it was Bobby on the soundboard or Gordie turning up the volume but you could feel the Bass throughout every muscle in your body. About halfway through their set the floor started to get packed in pretty good and began the horridness that everyone was going to endure for the rest of the night. I was a little surprised by the length of their set I was hoping to hear a few more songs which to me have made Wide Mouth Mason who they are today for me, But they have just released their newest album titled No Bad Days, so they were tilted towards playing a fair amount of their set list dedicated to the new release. Now I’m not complaining about hearing the new tunes, and it was nice to see that the audience was receptive to the new songs as well. Throughout the set Shaun made sure that he took the full advantage of wide open stage that he had pretty much all to himself. I was a little surprised that a few of their songs didn’t stretch out a little longer than normal as Shaun or Gordie didn’t improvise a little extra and create a small Jam. The small jams were I thought were a quintessential aspect of their live shows, from what I can remember from a couple of their previous shows each song had about an extra two minutes extra added to them. To finish off their set they finished with one of my favourite songs “Smile”.
Before Big Sugar took to the stage the anticipation coming from the audience was growing and growing and the room was getting hotter and hotter by the second. Leading the way onto the stage was Mr.Chill, followed with a fresh wardrobe changed Wide Mouth Mason. I don’t think I have ever heard a louder cheer before for a band before they began to play. For people who don’t already know Big Sugar went through a small reincarnation, Meredith Shaw and Shaun Verreault on backing vocals, Safwan Javed is on backing percussion and vocals, Mr. Chill on vocals, Sax, Keys, Harmonica, and Melodica, Garry Lowe on Bass, Friendlyness on vocals and keys, Stephane Beaudin on drums.
Everybody in Big Sugar was quick to acknowledge the fact and thank the audience. They opened up with a new song off of Revolution Per Minute “Work It Now”, wasting no time into playing the songs which have made their mainstay on Canadian radio “Diggin A Hole” played out to a huge applause from the audience and began the many of songs which were going to be pretty much followed word for word. I was wondering which guitars Gordie was going to bring on tour with him this time around and luckily for me he brought along my favourite guitar which is the double neck white Gibson which has the black and white Canadian Flag on the back of it. Ever since I saw my first Big Sugar show which also happened to be their last show in Kingston I became deeply hooked into the band, and this show left me only wanting to hear more. It didn’t take Friendlyness very long to take centre stage from behind his keys and rip up the microphone along with Gordie and Mr. Chill. The opening to “Diggin A Hole” brought out only the beginning of Mr.Chill taking the front of the stage with his Harmonica. Just as I thought the Wide Mouth Mason set would have been the Big Sugar set didn’t stray very far away from the original versions of the songs. Mind you they did go into a few jams but not what I originally thought they would have. One song which was the highlight of my night was “All Hell For A Basement” my all time favourite Big Sugar song, which happened to play near the end of their set but it was worth the wait. Gordie even said before the songs began that this night felt like a sing a long night so far. But when the song with Mr. Chill leading the way, the play exploded and the audience hung onto every lyric in the song. I have the video up on the main page of the site as well. The expressions on Gordie’s face and the rest of Big Sugar throughout the song was incredible because of how happy they were that the entire audience was hanging onto everything. At the end of the song all of Big Sugar thanked the audience for the moment. To finish out the first set they finished off with “Oh Canada”. After a quick break they came back out to finish off the night with three songs and their final song being “Ride Like Hell” but the Grady Version.