Gordon Lightfoot Live @ The Brockville Memorial Civic Centre
I first have to say thanks to the fine people at OTX.ca for providing me with a media pass.
As Gordon Lightfoot made his way out onto the stage last night in Brockville he was greeted by a standing ovation which he modestly nodded his head in appreciation.
I was really surprised by the wide range and variance of age in the audience. I thought I was going to be one or a slight few of people around my age but I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of people around my age. It is a great to see that Gordon Lightfoot’s music has been able to be passed on through the generations and will continue to do so.
Right from the start of Gordon Lightfoot’s set the sound of his vocals amazed me, I didn’t really know how they were going to sound but they sounded as they did twenty years ago. Also looking and listening to the sound system which was brought along there is no way to top the pristine quality sound. While I was sitting in the last row of the bleachers you could swear you were listening to a high quality recorded version of the concert. The microphones picked up everything even when Gordon swallowed between lines.
The applause after each song during the first few songs in the first set was kept very polite and soft. It was almost as the audience was going along with the mood of the night so far because the applause and audience participation did change throughout the night.
After the first three songs of the night Gordon paused for a quick moment to talk about the songs which were going to be played later on in the night “We are going through the records over the years and it has been a few now years now.”
When “Rainy Day People” began to play, this was the first song so far which people really caught onto a the beginning and the song then received the loudest applause so far in the night. During the midway point in the song a audience member yelled out “We Love You Gordon” which received a small yet focused applause from around the arena which did drown out a quick portion of the song.
The tempo of the first set did pick up when Gordon played his song which he wrote about the three days which he spent hanging around with Johnny Cash’s fiddle player. It didn’t take very long until the audience was clapping along in unison but slowly the audience participation did begin to dissipate within a couple verses of the song. When the song suddenly finished which was very suddenly Gordon looked around with a small shocked face as there was no applause at the end of the song, I really don’t think the audience knew that the song had finished. Quickly they began to play “Sundown” which received the loudest applause so far in the night. “Sundown” was one of the couple of songs which I really wanted to listen to live. One of my favourite sections of the songs was the lead guitar picking, listening to the song through that sound system was something that I probably will never get to listen to live again.
Gordon finished off the first set with “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald”. This is the song which first brought me onto listening to Gordon Lightfoot. I was really shocked that they played the song so early in the night I assumed “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald was going to be played as one of the final couple of songs. Before the song began Gordon talked al ittle about the songs history and a small portion of how the song was written. After the song had finished and after taking it all in I have taken a new approach into listening to the song. Nothing Beats Live Music.
After a brief intermission quickly the lights dimmed then Gordon Lightfoot was back out onto the stage wasting no time in getting into “Cotton Jenny”. The song was about half way finished before everybody made their way back into their seats.
A few songs into the second set and a slight slower tempo change from “Cotton Jenny” Gordon went into a story behind the song “Waiting For You”, the song was written for his second ex-wife (which received a mild applause) jokingly he explained the song was written after making the long trip got home after a show across Canada and falling asleep right away after hitting his bed “No Reward That Night” was the punch line to the joke.
An unexpected turn in the second set came as Gordon asked the audience if they wanted to hear a little blues “Make Way For The Lady was the song. The song was a slow tempo blues number with soft/light acoustic picking. The keyboards really had a strong playing hand in the song as they really took control of the song. Also added by the keyboards was a slight synth feel playing out in the background of the song.
When “If You Could Read My Mind” began to play, instantly the audience began to hang onto every lyric and began to sing along to every word. Talk about a mood changer in the night as well, it was one of those moments where you had to be there to witness.
At the end of the second set Gordon Lightfoot and his backing band came to the front of the staged waved and gave their thanks before leaving the stage. The audience didn’t sit back down in their seats and were cheering for more which Gordon obliged and came out to play “Blackberry Wine.