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Old 04-27-2007, 06:15 PM   #1
Irish
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ďYou canít jump a jet plane like you can a freight trainĒ and you usually donít run into an old friend who happens to have an extra ticket for a Gordon Lightfoot concert while waiting for the Downtown 4 Train. At 2:14 PM, my old friend J Marc, who I hadnít seen in a few years, spotted me on the underground platform waiting for the Downtown Express. He lives in Southern New Jersey and comes into Manhattan once a year. With all the various subway lines and the frequency with which they run, this encounter was a million to one probability. Then, throw in the fact that my favorite Canadian folk artist was in town that night and J Marc had an extra ticket, and the whole thing was just weird and whacky. Destiny and lady luck was shining on me. I would have preferred to win a mega millions lottery, but this ended up being a fine evening of entertainment.

Gordon was delighted to be performing at the Town Hall again. As he noted during the concert, this intimate Midtown theatre was the site of his first New York gig opening up for the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in 1968. He also reminisced about playing in the Village mentioning places like the Bitter End and performers like Jerry Jeff Walker. Seated in my orchestra seat, I imagined what it must have been like to watch a baby-faced Dylan perform Masters of War here in April of 1963. Ah, the good old days, which I was too young to be part of.

Lightfoot is still a striking figure with commanding stage presence. He looked like a well dressed swashbuckling pirate as he serenaded the audience with his arsenal of classics with a few newer compositions tossed in. His familiarly distinctive voice was evident, but it was a little tinny and hollow. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise because his four piece band faithfully reproduced his songs note for note, so his softer vocals made the songs sound fresh. Lightfoot kicked the evening off with a pair of crowd pleasers Ė Cotton Jenny and Carefree Highway. He delivered every song I desired to see without any preconceived shtick, which is refreshing.

The highlight of this two set affair that ended with a two-song encore was The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.Ē Ending the opening set, Fitzgerald was energetic and it stood out as the masterpiece from his back pages. I also have a strange predilection for songs about ship tragedies that dates back to my childhood. One of the first albums I ever heard was a live Weavers album that contained Guthrieís The Sinking of the Rueben James. I listened to that song repeatedly when I was five years old. Here are a couple of analogies for you; Edmund Fitzgerald is to Lightfoot as Hurricane is to Dylan and Johnny Cash is to American music as Lightfoot is to Canadian music.

The finale of the second set, Early Morning Rain, sparkled as well. As Gordon sang this I was savoring the amazing lyrics. No wonder so many others covered it and Dylan has such high praise for Lightfoot. Other fine performances that made this a memorable night included Sundown, Don Quixote, The Watchmanís Gone, Beautiful, A Painter Passing Through and Rainy Day People. Of the approximately 24 songs, the most noticeable absentee was Canadian Railroad Trilogy. If You Could Read My Mind was part of the concert, but it was the one tune that was off target, it just wasnít performed well. However, it was a great night of music, Lightfoot gave it his all

I can now say Iíve seen the legendary Gordon Lightfoot thanks to a simple twist of fate. That afternoon I didnít even realize he was in town until I bumped into an old friend. Sunday night Iíll be enjoying Van Morrison at the Theatre at MSG. In June Iíll be spending several nights with Dylan and his Cowboy Band as well as seeing a Levon Helm Ramble in Central Park. Artists like this are the last of a dying breed, so I gotta hop the freight trains while I can.
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Old 04-27-2007, 06:15 PM   #2
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ďYou canít jump a jet plane like you can a freight trainĒ and you usually donít run into an old friend who happens to have an extra ticket for a Gordon Lightfoot concert while waiting for the Downtown 4 Train. At 2:14 PM, my old friend J Marc, who I hadnít seen in a few years, spotted me on the underground platform waiting for the Downtown Express. He lives in Southern New Jersey and comes into Manhattan once a year. With all the various subway lines and the frequency with which they run, this encounter was a million to one probability. Then, throw in the fact that my favorite Canadian folk artist was in town that night and J Marc had an extra ticket, and the whole thing was just weird and whacky. Destiny and lady luck was shining on me. I would have preferred to win a mega millions lottery, but this ended up being a fine evening of entertainment.

Gordon was delighted to be performing at the Town Hall again. As he noted during the concert, this intimate Midtown theatre was the site of his first New York gig opening up for the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in 1968. He also reminisced about playing in the Village mentioning places like the Bitter End and performers like Jerry Jeff Walker. Seated in my orchestra seat, I imagined what it must have been like to watch a baby-faced Dylan perform Masters of War here in April of 1963. Ah, the good old days, which I was too young to be part of.

Lightfoot is still a striking figure with commanding stage presence. He looked like a well dressed swashbuckling pirate as he serenaded the audience with his arsenal of classics with a few newer compositions tossed in. His familiarly distinctive voice was evident, but it was a little tinny and hollow. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise because his four piece band faithfully reproduced his songs note for note, so his softer vocals made the songs sound fresh. Lightfoot kicked the evening off with a pair of crowd pleasers Ė Cotton Jenny and Carefree Highway. He delivered every song I desired to see without any preconceived shtick, which is refreshing.

The highlight of this two set affair that ended with a two-song encore was The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.Ē Ending the opening set, Fitzgerald was energetic and it stood out as the masterpiece from his back pages. I also have a strange predilection for songs about ship tragedies that dates back to my childhood. One of the first albums I ever heard was a live Weavers album that contained Guthrieís The Sinking of the Rueben James. I listened to that song repeatedly when I was five years old. Here are a couple of analogies for you; Edmund Fitzgerald is to Lightfoot as Hurricane is to Dylan and Johnny Cash is to American music as Lightfoot is to Canadian music.

The finale of the second set, Early Morning Rain, sparkled as well. As Gordon sang this I was savoring the amazing lyrics. No wonder so many others covered it and Dylan has such high praise for Lightfoot. Other fine performances that made this a memorable night included Sundown, Don Quixote, The Watchmanís Gone, Beautiful, A Painter Passing Through and Rainy Day People. Of the approximately 24 songs, the most noticeable absentee was Canadian Railroad Trilogy. If You Could Read My Mind was part of the concert, but it was the one tune that was off target, it just wasnít performed well. However, it was a great night of music, Lightfoot gave it his all

I can now say Iíve seen the legendary Gordon Lightfoot thanks to a simple twist of fate. That afternoon I didnít even realize he was in town until I bumped into an old friend. Sunday night Iíll be enjoying Van Morrison at the Theatre at MSG. In June Iíll be spending several nights with Dylan and his Cowboy Band as well as seeing a Levon Helm Ramble in Central Park. Artists like this are the last of a dying breed, so I gotta hop the freight trains while I can.
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Old 04-27-2007, 06:51 PM   #3
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Welcome! What a fantastic review, I really appreciate that you posted this.
You sound as if you have a wonderful Summer line up coming your way. Would love to see Levon Helm.
Thanks again for a great review!
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Old 04-27-2007, 07:12 PM   #4
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Catfish,

That's a fine piece of writing.
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:07 PM   #5
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What a great story! I love it!
And VM on Sunday night-extra awesome!
I have been playing Moondance all week...LOVE that stuff. Let us know how the concert is..
Char
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:07 PM   #6
charlene
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What a great story! I love it!
And VM on Sunday night-extra awesome!
I have been playing Moondance all week...LOVE that stuff. Let us know how the concert is..
Char
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Old 04-29-2007, 07:55 AM   #7
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a great read, catfish, thanks

actually, I was just reading the review from the 1968 Town Hall gig:

http://www.lightfoot.ca/thall68.htm

love your analogies (I'm sure many would debate but that's what makes discussion fun)...wonder how a Brit, Aussie or other nations would fill in "Johnny Cash is to American music as Lightfoot is to Canadian music as _________ is to British music as ________ is to Australian music as __________ is to _____________ music" ???
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Old 04-29-2007, 07:55 AM   #8
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a great read, catfish, thanks

actually, I was just reading the review from the 1968 Town Hall gig:

http://www.lightfoot.ca/thall68.htm

love your analogies (I'm sure many would debate but that's what makes discussion fun)...wonder how a Brit, Aussie or other nations would fill in "Johnny Cash is to American music as Lightfoot is to Canadian music as _________ is to British music as ________ is to Australian music as __________ is to _____________ music" ???
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Old 04-29-2007, 10:26 AM   #9
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The above review by Catfish says it all. I too attended the Town Hall performance on Thursday night with my friend who always looks forward to going to see Gord and the "guys" in concert. I had bought the tickets early only to discover that several weeks later they added a concert at the Northfork, Westbury on Long Island, a venue much closer to where we live. But in the end we were estatic that it turned out that way. We went into the city early, walked around Times Square and then went to Bubba Gump's Shrimp Boat Co. for dinner. For those who venture to NYC every once in a while and have never gone to this restaurant,i would highly recommend that you do so sometime. The whole experience is based around the film Forrest Gump and the staff is very friendly, the surroundings entertaining and the food pretty good [mostly seafood]. Then off to the concert...
Town Hall is one of the best venues that I have attended for a Gordon Lightfoot Concert. The seats [row N] afforded us a wonderful view of the stage which was simply decorated with pleated curtains placed in a way that without the lights looked like a bunch of sailboats [to me]. When the lights went down and the stage lights turned on, it then looked like a primeivel forest. Later, the background looked like a city scape with tall buildings. It was very effective and added to the show. [You all can see photos of this performance on another thread where Anne reviews this concert. Thank you so much Anne for providing them.how did you get such wonderful clear photos? Were you near the stage? I think I saw you in the lobby after the concert. Oh, and thank you Char for posting them]
Then the band walked out - much applause... and then
Gordon - thunderous applause.
Gordon went right into Cotton Jenney. I have to say that, at first, I was taken back by the hoarseness of his voice. I last saw GL in concert last year at the Westhampton Theatre and I just couldn't believe the degree of change. My friend, who last saw him 2 years ago, stated that his voice has aged but that in her mind she hears the voice that drew her to the man's music those many years ago. Catfish said just that in the review above ["his familiary distinctive voice....]Don't worry, I quickly got over my initial shock and thoroughly enjoyed the concert. There is one thing about the show that I can say that other's haven't said in thier reviews. To my delight he sang Hangdog Hotel and preluded it by saying something like...[paraphrased]talking about the old days I still hang out with some of those guys like Kris Kristofersen and Jim [??couldn't hear name, maybe someone else did]and this next tune is nostalgic of those times.
Let me end by saying the most amazing thing about the whole night was the audience's reaction and engagement with Gordon and the band. There was no doubt in my mind that most people there were true fans who came to show genuine appreciation for this man who made the world a bit brighter by giving us his music. There was thunderous applause and whistles and whoops after every song and, of coarse, the occassional "I love you Gord". [There was just as much enthusiasm for the band, especially when
Gord introduced them].
And you could tell that Gordon received the message loud and clear. He came out by himself after the two song encore and after taking his usual bows turned his back to walk backstage while raising both arms into the air, thumbs up.

Dorothea

PS Although I don't have tickets, I plan to be at the Westbury concert tonight.

[ April 29, 2007, 10:39: Message edited by: Islandgirl ]
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Old 04-29-2007, 10:26 AM   #10
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The above review by Catfish says it all. I too attended the Town Hall performance on Thursday night with my friend who always looks forward to going to see Gord and the "guys" in concert. I had bought the tickets early only to discover that several weeks later they added a concert at the Northfork, Westbury on Long Island, a venue much closer to where we live. But in the end we were estatic that it turned out that way. We went into the city early, walked around Times Square and then went to Bubba Gump's Shrimp Boat Co. for dinner. For those who venture to NYC every once in a while and have never gone to this restaurant,i would highly recommend that you do so sometime. The whole experience is based around the film Forrest Gump and the staff is very friendly, the surroundings entertaining and the food pretty good [mostly seafood]. Then off to the concert...
Town Hall is one of the best venues that I have attended for a Gordon Lightfoot Concert. The seats [row N] afforded us a wonderful view of the stage which was simply decorated with pleated curtains placed in a way that without the lights looked like a bunch of sailboats [to me]. When the lights went down and the stage lights turned on, it then looked like a primeivel forest. Later, the background looked like a city scape with tall buildings. It was very effective and added to the show. [You all can see photos of this performance on another thread where Anne reviews this concert. Thank you so much Anne for providing them.how did you get such wonderful clear photos? Were you near the stage? I think I saw you in the lobby after the concert. Oh, and thank you Char for posting them]
Then the band walked out - much applause... and then
Gordon - thunderous applause.
Gordon went right into Cotton Jenney. I have to say that, at first, I was taken back by the hoarseness of his voice. I last saw GL in concert last year at the Westhampton Theatre and I just couldn't believe the degree of change. My friend, who last saw him 2 years ago, stated that his voice has aged but that in her mind she hears the voice that drew her to the man's music those many years ago. Catfish said just that in the review above ["his familiary distinctive voice....]Don't worry, I quickly got over my initial shock and thoroughly enjoyed the concert. There is one thing about the show that I can say that other's haven't said in thier reviews. To my delight he sang Hangdog Hotel and preluded it by saying something like...[paraphrased]talking about the old days I still hang out with some of those guys like Kris Kristofersen and Jim [??couldn't hear name, maybe someone else did]and this next tune is nostalgic of those times.
Let me end by saying the most amazing thing about the whole night was the audience's reaction and engagement with Gordon and the band. There was no doubt in my mind that most people there were true fans who came to show genuine appreciation for this man who made the world a bit brighter by giving us his music. There was thunderous applause and whistles and whoops after every song and, of coarse, the occassional "I love you Gord". [There was just as much enthusiasm for the band, especially when
Gord introduced them].
And you could tell that Gordon received the message loud and clear. He came out by himself after the two song encore and after taking his usual bows turned his back to walk backstage while raising both arms into the air, thumbs up.

Dorothea

PS Although I don't have tickets, I plan to be at the Westbury concert tonight.

[ April 29, 2007, 10:39: Message edited by: Islandgirl ]
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Old 04-29-2007, 10:33 AM   #11
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Catfish
I just wanted you to know that I thoroughly enjoyed your review, especially the way you came about going to the Town Hall concert. That was amazing.

Dorothea
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Old 04-29-2007, 10:33 AM   #12
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Catfish
I just wanted you to know that I thoroughly enjoyed your review, especially the way you came about going to the Town Hall concert. That was amazing.

Dorothea
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