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-Shea's Performing arts Center-Buffalo, NY-
October 1st, 2010
Concert Review By Bob
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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