Burton Cummings delighted the K-Rock Centre audience with songs from the early days of his career to his new and very first solo written album.
Burton Cummings came out onto the stage into a standing ovation with his band already through the first thirty seconds of the opening song. After waving to the audience Burton made his way over to his Keyboard and began to play.
For me the highlight of his performance all night was his vocals. Throughout all of his songs which he played especially the slower tempo songs Burton’s vocals reigned supreme. Before starting his fourth song “No Sugar tonight” he talked about how Friday the thirteenth was the night of the gambler and how he didn’t believe in it all. Before playing the next song “Laughing” he explained how this was his favourite song which he had written and talked a little about the details about the song. By the time the song was done you could tell the audience was already enjoying themselves and a few people on the main floor came unglued out of their seats and began to dance but were quickly notified that they were to remain in their seats. During the song I began to realize how many lyrics and songs which I knew, I really surprised myself by knowing almost every lyrics which he had played up to this point.
After finishing “Guns, Guns, Guns” Burton talked a little about his life starting in the music business at the age of 14 and thinking back then that he would never make in the business to the age of 64 he moved into the slow tempo “Stand Tall”. What I really enjoyed the most out of the song next to Burton’s vocals was the guitar solo which plays out near the end of the song. The sound system tonight really made the sound nice and clear and wasn’t overly loud which would normally entail a bit of ear damage from the higher pitch of the guitar. Throughout the song I could see that the song had a widening touch on the audience. When the song finished the entire audience gave Burton a standing ovation which lasted for about a minute, during which Burton thanked the audience up and down for the applause and brought out the line. “Don’t get me all misty eyed so early on” he had to jokingly asked the audience to stop and sit down a couple of times before the audience sat back down. When the audience did settle down he joked about playing slow songs, which was followed with “Bus Rider”.
After “Bus Rider” finished the band took off their instruments and headed to the back of the stage to throw on choir boy robes. Burton explained a little bit about the song in a jokingly matter by explaining that no one has written a song about a roll away bed before so he thought that it was about time that someone did. Burton’s band performed a terrific sounding backing harmonies for the song, the song was one of the slowest tempo songs of the night, but the lyrics more than made up for the slower tempo. Almost right away they picked the tempo back up with “Runnin’ Back Up To Saskatoon”. Burton moved away from in behind his keyboard to play harmonica after the main riff of the song played out a couple of times. The band had the crowd up and going when this song started and followed suite by clapping along with Nick on Percussion. About halfway through the song the guitarist’s finally moved out from behind their microphones and ventured around the stage and meeting each other in the center of the stage.
“My Own Way To Rock” played next and brought out the energy and the power which the had seemed to been holding back all night. This was so far the most energetic song of the night and turned into one of my favourite songs of the night. After the song was finished the entire audience gave another standing ovation, which Burton thanked the audience and gave his appreciation for the applause. After “ Hand Me Down World” “These Eyes” followed and throughout the song Burton Cummings vocals ripped through the arena. The instrumental aspect of the song sounded a little different from what I was used to hearing. But The vocals, I can’t really explain it with words how they sounded they just made me into a huge fan of the song.
My favourite quote of the night came just before “Star Baby” when Burton said “ This song is by the Real Guess Who, not what is out there calling themselves the Guess Who. I was surprised that they played the original full length version of the song but when the first note of the main riff hit the place exploded even as I write this review I can still hear the riff inside of my head. They finished off the set with “No Time” which Burton picked up a sweet powder blue I think it was a Gibson I was sitting pretty far back to be sure. It didn’t take long for Burton to walk around the stage and even jumped up on the drum platform to play a few chords.
The encore lasted two songs the first song being the slow tempo “I will play a rhapsody” which he played solo on his keyboard. He asked the audience to make some noise for the band to come back out which they did and they finished off the night with “Share the Land”.