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Old 12-05-2005, 12:00 PM   #1
charlene
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The Orillia Opera House was full with approximately 700 eager fans awaiting the return of the prodigal son after that horrible Sept.2002 night. We came into the old building from a clear, crisp winter night, lights twinkling in the trees around the Opera House and the snow sparkling, fresh and still clean. It was a thrill to walk under the sign that said “Gordon Lightfoot Auditorium” and take a seat in a beautiful old hall.

The band walked out, took their seats to silence....and we all waited. In silence. The band looked around, looked at each other…in silence….
Someone called out "Gord!" and about 60 seconds later he swaggered out to a standing ovation.....it was a bit slow in coming but heartfelt. It didn't last long as Gord set right to work and began the show with “14kt.Gold”.

Being a small hall the sound was not loud and his voice was quiet.
After “14kt Gold” he said "Sorry I'm late" to everyone's amusement and someone yelled out "We love you Gord!". And Gord replied "I love you all too"

“Spanish Moss” was next and partway through he changed direction and sang “Shadows”. Then right into “In My Fashion” and for the benefit of some possible classmates or teachers in the audience he said quite forcefully "Do I look like the kind of a fool who couldn't come to terms with a "god-damn" slide rule?" LOL

“Never Too Close” was followed by “Don Quixote”.....It took a few songs to find his comfort zone but around this time he was sounding great and getting wonderful applause from the audience. The small venue made the silence seem almost like a moment of prayer in church....Yes, the Church of Gord has two locations now-the one called Massey Hall in Toronto and this fine old structure in Orillia.

He then spoke of writing the next song for an educational film and sang “Ghosts of Cape Horn”...the whistling was almost non-existant and I dearly wished Bill was there to prod the audience into participating with the whistling like he did at Massey in May.

He said the Huronia Regional Health Centre had a request and he sang “Rainy Day People” for those hard working health care providers in the Orillia area.

He picked up the 12 string and did “Triangle” and then right into “Cotton Jenney” and “Carefree Highway”. He was in fine fine form now and the audience was loving some of the older songs.

He said there was no nepotism in his family but a friend of his nephew Steven had written a great song that he performs. Steven was not in attendance” so that was good in case we mess up."!
Lol

He mentioned that back in Sept.2002 he had a chance to sing a couple of new songs the first night there in Orillia and would do them a bit later but one was liked quite a bit in Nevada when they played there and "we'll do it tonight since we're in Orillia."

He launched into a hot version of “Sundown” and the crowd loved it. And then it was “Alberta Bound”. He introduced “The Wreck of the Edmund Fiztgerald” and sang it before taking an intermission.

About 20 minutes later he started the second set with “Waiting For You”, “Beautiful”, “Harmony” and “Let It Ride”.

He next sang “IYCRMM” and lordy it was stunning....so perfect.

“Morning Glory” and the so sad “Clouds of Loneliness” were next and then he told us about being down at the Mohegan Casino in Connecticut last month. There was a shop there like a huge aquarium...fish on the walls, fish on the walls everywhere! He said the Mohegan is the home of the ladies pro basketball team there and that's where they performed. I'm sure he would have liked to have taken in a game seeing that he's a Toronto Raptors fan!

He then sang the song they loved in Reno and actually love all over...”Couchiching”.....and of course all the local establishments named in the song were greeted with cheers, approval and laughter and with a rousing reception when it was over. Nothing like having your hometown immortalized in song by the hometown star!

When he go to the last lines
“When I get my final slumber, when I pawn my diamond ring
I will do my final number, by Lake Couchiching” I got a chill right through me.

He got big laffs when he said he asked the doctors at the Hamilton hospital where his appendix was and they told him they looked after it for free!

He said he wanted to thank someone...Elvis Presley....it seems Elvis changed ONE word in a song of Gords...He changed CAN to MIGHT...Gord spelled the words CAN and MIGHT for us and told us to listen for it in the fourth verse.....Elvis made it a better song.
He then sang “Early Morning Rain” and when he got to "as cold and drink as I MIGHT be" he scanned the audience to see if we caught it! Lol

He mentioned the Canadian Idol (Sept.2004) experience and how his then 10 year old daughter had him attend all three nights and that he enjoyed them all. He also said he went and saw Kalan Porter (Can.Idol winner) in concert and what a great show it was -obviously taking his daughter along too. He didn't mention seeing The Rolling Stones a few weeks ago in Toronto though.

And then he did the one song I really wanted to hear on a beautiful snowy night in Orillia....”A Song For A Winter's Night”.....it seemed so special I thought I'd cry...but I didn't...! I actually like winter for those few minutes!
I've since gotten over that feeling....LOL

The toe-tapper "Old Dan's Records" changed the mood and when it was over he and the band left to a standing ovation. Upon returning the band was introduced and possibly at this time (maybe earlier) Gord mentioned that his manager Barry Harvey had taken a tumble off the equipment truck and cracked a couple of ribs. Lordy - three years ago it was Gord in emergency at Orillia Soldiers Memorial Hospital and then it's Barry! sheesh! I hope he's feeling better and taking it easy.

Gord also said that the next day he would be singing at the church in town and doing some old songs, some church songs and from what I heard it almost sounded like it would be recorded..maybe not tho..I do wish I'd known so I could stay overnight in Orillia and try to get into the show on Sunday.

Link to article about it: http://www.orilliapacket.com/webapp/...f=News%20Alert

The epic that all Canadians (and train lovers) love was up next – “Canadian Railroad Trilogy”...huge ovation and they were off stage again! Upon their return an audience member called out a song as they were just getting ready to do the encore....Gord stopped and said alright - and another song so fitting to Lightfoot/Orillia was performed – “Christian Island”...and it was a lovely rendition.

The band left the stage, Gord took some bows and waved for the boys to get back on stage and they then did “Cold On The Shoulder”.....another standing ovation, lights up and it was all over...
The night we had waited for had come .... and gone.... he was home again, safe and healthy and loved.
And none of us can really ask for anything more than that.
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Old 12-05-2005, 12:39 PM   #2
BILLW
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Thanks Char !

Bill
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Old 12-05-2005, 12:44 PM   #3
Jenney
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Wow, I knew it would be worth the wait for your report Char!
Naturally I loved the part where he spoke about the store at Mohegan Sun with the fish! Maybe he liked it enough to come back this year!
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Old 12-05-2005, 12:54 PM   #4
charlene
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He seemed to get quite a kick out of the aquarium store...and that the casino was home base for a woman's pro basketball team.....
lol
and maybe next year he'll buy a fish!
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Old 12-05-2005, 01:16 PM   #5
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It sounds like it was a tremendous show. Thanks for all the detail!
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Old 12-06-2005, 06:59 AM   #6
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Charlene,

Great report -- thanks for taking the time.
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Old 12-06-2005, 05:17 PM   #7
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Thanks Char ! I feel like I was there! Greaaat review! m.
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Old 12-06-2005, 06:01 PM   #8
Sheryl
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Excellent review, Char!! What a set list! OMG!! As always, you make us feel like we were there, too -- THANKS!! :D
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:39 PM   #9
charlene
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i take notes in the pitch dark....just words that will trigger my memory...and if I'm lucky my memory will co-operate the next day...
lol
Char
I should have done the note-taking years and years ago......I'd have a box full but it sure would be nice to have.
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Old 12-07-2005, 07:18 AM   #10
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Great review, Charlene. I also take notes in the dark - just the songs and maybe some funny comments. It can be hard to decipher the next day depending on how many beers I've had!
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Old 12-07-2005, 08:16 AM   #11
charlene
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Watchman - Sundown just seemed to have a different intensity - perhaps being a smaller venue made it seem different. not sure but it was very sultry sounding...
lol
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Old 12-07-2005, 08:50 AM   #12
charlene
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lol!
as if!...
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Old 12-07-2005, 02:16 PM   #13
Robby Lake
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Techno-Lightfoot:has a nice ring to it...not.
Thanx,Charlene for the great review.
By the way,I heard a techno version of IYCRMM
and I felt very uncomfortable.Hope I never hear it again!
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