Blue Rodeo once again spoiled Kingston with an amazing night of music which included songs from their new album and personal picks from their extensive back catalogue.
Opening the night was The Devin Cuddy Band, if you tried to take a guess at how their set sounded just by looking at the band name, there is a pretty good chance that you are wrong. This was the first time that I got to hear The Devin Cuddy Band play live and man were they good. Their sound is quite an extraordinary mix of genres including, Country, New Orleans Blues, Jazz and a bit of Rock. They didn’t have long to impress the audience as their set was just about thirty minutes in length, but they definitely left an impression with everyone who was in attendance. Devin deep and powerful vocals and keyboard was the main driving force behind their sound but their guitarist was really well crafted in the way he played each song. The jazz and country sound really popped from his lead work throughout their set, the few solos that he played were quite impressive “Dancin’” was one of my favourite solos that Nichol played. The short selection of songs that The Devin Cuddy Band played for us came from their album titled Volume One which is available at http://www.cameronhouserecords.com/
Blue Rodeo’s set tonight was split up into two different sections; the first set was set aside exclusively for their brand new album In Our Nature and with the second set consisting of our favourite Blue Rodeo songs.
To begin their set they played the first single off of In Our Nature “New Morning Sun”, instantly the audience was drawn right into their set. It’s amazing with no matter how many times I have listened to the album in my truck or at home, right away the live performance of the song brought on an entire new life and meaning for me. One of my favourite aspects about a Blue Rodeo set is the fact that Greg is such a great story teller and is never shy about explaining the true meaning of each song. Before they began their second song “Matawa” Greg explained the meaning through a thoughtful story about his birth father. This song provided us the first of a few experiences with Greg hanging up his guitar and exclusively singing lead vocals. After one of my favourite songs off of the album “Tell Me Again”, Jim left the front of the stage and moved to the back of the stage where a piano was set up for him to play the very deep and thoughtful song “Made Your Mind Up”. Following close to the same tempo and Greg singing strictly lead vocals again they moved into “Paradise”, the explanation for this song was quite humourous and shed a light into his song writing as well. Now to really mix up the set and pretty much catch the entire audience off guard they played a cover song, but just not any cover song one that I would have never guessed they would have played The Rolling Stones “The Last Time”, with Colin Cripps taking the lead guitar in the song. “Tara’s Blues” was one of the most interesting songs that I found on the album and even had to ask Jim about the song earlier on in the day during my interview. Greg explained the song at two different times during the night, with the main explanation coming just before they played the song. The song really struck a different chord with the audience especially after learning the meaning of the song. One exception moment during the song arrived as everyone moved to the left side of the stage and gave Bob the spotlight on slide guitar during the instrumental break in between verses. “Never Too Late” another favourite of mine followed then to finish off the first set Jim went back to the piano and played “When The Truth Comes Out”.
The guys kept us guessing at which songs they were going to play in their second set, there were no real hints on what was going to be played. They spread the second set out almost as a history lesson of Blue Rodeo, by playing songs that have spanned their career and again with my favourite aspect giving us a inside look on the lyrics and meanings. We even got to hear a couple of reasons why they shied away from playing certain songs live for the longest time. Starting off their second set they kicked things off with “Diamond Mine”, the intro into the song was played a little differently. The piano solo almost took the lead right out from under Greg and Jim. This song really loosened up the audience and the guys really played up the song as well. Jim picked up the electric guitar for the song and really let loose in the third section of the song with a hefty lead. It didn’t take long for people in the back of the floor section to get up and dance but it did take a few songs before most of the floor stood up and took to the dancing in the front of the stage with the security letting them, at the end of the night Blue Rodeo applauded the security for letting everyone the freedom throughout the night. “After The Rain” brought on my favourite Piano and Organ setting/sound of the night, with each complimenting the other to make such a smooth graceful sound. The lighting nailed Colin at the perfect moment in the song as well as he went into one of many great Solos from Colin. The lighting played a crucial mood setting motion in “Dark Angel” as well, with Greg singing lead and having a dark blue and red spotlight, the lighting was setup perfectly for Bob and Michael as they played ever so quietly and diligently in the background during the song. For “Girl Of Mine” Glenn and Bazil moved up to the front of the stage with Bazil sitting down as well for the song. “Trust Yourself” was definitely made for the audience, with most of the audience cluing into the song instantly when the first chord was hit in the song. This was another song that Jim played it up for the audience as well as he played one heck of a catchy riff as he paced the front of the entire stage. Before they began “Bad Timing” Jim gave us personal insight into the song and how the local restaurant Morrisons played a crucial role in this song. “You’re Everywhere” brought Greg back out onto lead vocals for this upbeat country song, Just before electric solo was about to hit Greg yelled out “Go Colin Go”, and did he ever let it rip for the solo. Also for the piano solo Greg got another audience involved hand clap going. To finish off the set Jim picked up the mandolin and just as their previous show Greg and Jim let the audience sing the first half of the song with Greg giving us the thumbs up just before they took the song over for us.
For the first encore they came back out and played “Try” and “Lost Together” with The Devin Cuddy Band coming back out onto the stage and joining in on vocals and acoustics, they put a nice effect on the power chords as they crouched down and hit the riff all at the same time to give the song a rush of power. Now with half of the audience leaving and not cluing in that the house lights haven’t come on yet Greg and Jim came back out to the stage and played us “One for the road” and sang a duet version of my all time favourite song “What Am I Doing Here”.
My Interview with Jim Cuddy before the show!