After having to delay the show due to the freezing rain earlier in the week, The Not Guilty Tour hit The Grand Theatre for the final Canadian show date.
The night was a special showcase show of sorts for Paul Langlois Ching Music Label as every artist on his roster appeared on the Grand Theatre Stage tonight.
After a short opening speech and brief introduction the night started off with Jim Tidman. Jim was accompanied on stage with Joe Carscallen and Rob Gillet. Jim played us songs from his solo album stealing Ghosts and a few personal favourites as well. Jim entertained the audience with his American Roots Country and Folk Songs. It became quite apparent quickly that Jim is such a great and innovative song writer, I don’t think I have ever watched and listened to any musician who could take the simplest event and turn it into a song. In one song in particular, Jim sang about a large fallen tree that had crashed onto the ground on Brock Street. My favourite song of Jim Tidmans set came when he played “Coyote”; this song displayed his love for Old Time Country as the song was more of a spoken word tale than actual singing. Joe Carscallen added greatly to the atmosphere of Jim’s songs as he played alongside of Jim on Mandolin. Later on in the set Jim called on his brother to join him on stage to play Harmonica, the mixing crew of the night blended the harmonica beautifully in the song and it added just the right echoing effect to the song which gave the song the perfect atmospheric sound. For Jim’s last guest of his set he called on Paul Langlois to join him on stage to play the first song off Stealing Ghosts “Apple Blossom”.
After a very quick stage flip Greg Ball took to the stage. Greg started off the set with an acoustic number. Behind the curtains revealed a full band setup, With Rob Radford on Drums, Joe on Guitar and Rob still on Bass guitar. There has always been more to Greg Balls set than just the music. Greg’s comedic side really comes during the breaks in between songs and sometimes even during his songs, and the audience seems to love every second of it. I really enjoyed the way Greg set the flow of his set tonight, the up and down stream which Greg laid out was really enjoyable. Greg played us a mix of songs from his first album Excessive Until August and his newest album Mr.Rightplace, again going back and forth between both albums nailed down the flow of the set. It was quite easy to tell that everyone was enjoying themselves up on stage playing together. Joe Carscallen really came alive in the set making his way around the stage for most of the set, and nearing the end of the set going over to Rob’s mic to join in on the backing vocals as well. After tonight’s show I think my favourtism for Greg’s songs has shifted a little over to the title tracks on both of his album, but I still can’t pass of enjoying “My Forte” the most out of any of his songs. Nearing the end of the set before Greg had to confirm that he had time for one more song; Paul came back out onto the stage to join the guys for a song.
To close out the night Paul Langlois took to the stage with Rob Baker on Guitar, Jeff Montgomery on Bass and Mauro Sepe on Drums. Paul played us songs from both of his solo records Fix This Head and his brand new release Not Guilty. I have listened to Not Guilty quite a few times now, but I couldn’t believe how greatly the songs would come alive. The rock aspect of the songs exploded right away when he started off with “Tables Been Set” which was a bit of a surprise song to start out with, and it was only after a brief explanation of the songs meaning that they went right into the song. I have heard the song acoustically a few times now and this marked the first time I have heard the electric version of the song. The setlist such as Gregs was well thought out as well, Paul did a excellent job of pairing his songs together as he followed “Tables Been Set” with the title track off of his first solo album “Fix This Head”. The audience interaction throughout his set was quite humorous at times, Paul made sure to take the time thank all of his friends, family and fans who came out to see him play tonight and who has supported him all of this time especially on his solo work. Paul had a couple of guests in store for his set as well as he brought out Gord Sinclair to help out on “Capital Punishment”. Following “Capital Punishment” Paul handed the front of the stage over to Jeff Montgomery so he could play “Snakebite” which is from his old band My Friend Andy who is also on the Ching Music Label. To give a helping hand with the backing vocals on "Common Ground" and “Not Guilty” Greg Ball came back out onto the stage but not before Rob Baker got a dig on him before he could reach a mic. Just like on the album the tone that Greg adds to the vocals in "Not Guilty" adds such a different and appreciative effect to the song especially in the chorus. To finish off the first set they finished off with “Watching You”. After a very quick break they came back out onto the stage for a three song encore. Starting off the encore was the song “Waiting On My Train”, followed with “Broken Road”. To finish off the night and a true ode to a Campfire Liars Club show everyone came out onto the stage and played a wicked cover of Michel Pagliaro’s “What The Hell I Got”.