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Gordon Lightfoot
-Shea's Performing arts Center-Buffalo, NY-
October 1st, 2010

Concert Review By Bob Silvestri

     As I watched Gordon Lightfoot perform at Shea's Performing Arts Center in Downtown Buffalo on October 1st, 2010, I couldn't help but wonder who in the current crop of artists would be able to command and exhibit the stature he has achieved. No less artists than Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley site Lightfoot as an influence and have covered his songs. Not many if any will ever be his peer I thought.
     Strolling on stage with no fanfare he slung his guitar over his shoulder and launched into "Did She Mention My Name?". Tall and lanky with shoulder length grey hair his voice is not nearly as strong as before but his songs are still powerful. His voice can betray him now on some of the high and low end notes but it is a wonder this seventy two year old can still take to the stage. For those needing to be brought up to speed, Lightfoot suffered a near fatal abdominal aneurysm while on stage in his home town of Orillia, Ontario in 2002. The subsequent months long coma and tracheotomy should have ended his career. Instead after his recovery he hit the road in earnest to play his music.
     With a simple four piece backing outfit and no frills this Canadian and musical legend let his songs resonate through the crowd. The two one hour sets divided by a twenty minute intermission featured all of Lightfoot's classics. "Carefree Highway" and "Sundown" were warmly received by the crowd as were "Early Morning Rain", "Rainy Day People" and "Beautiful".
     Lightfoot provided one of those rare concert moments that you wished happened more often. A mesmerizing "If You Could Read My Mind" had the hushed crowd on the edge of their seats as Lightfoot poured out his soul in song. It was a very emotional and personal performance from Lightfoot. The most celebrated part of the evening came as Lightfoot delved into one of the greatest songs ever written, his masterpiece "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald". From the first notes you are caught up in the narrative of the song, always riveted as if just hearing this sailor's story for the first time, knowing the fateful end yet yearning for a different conclusion that will never come. At the end of the second set and encore Lightfoot was gone as quietly as he appeared with a simple bow and wave of gesture to the crowd's applause. For more upcoming shows at Shea's Performing Arts Center go to www.sheas.org


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