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Old 10-02-2010, 07:25 PM   #1
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Default Buffalo - Shea's Perf.Arts Centre-Oct.1,2010 preview and review

Updated: October 1, 2010, 4:08 PM

Before Gordon Lightfoot appeared at Shea’s Performing Arts Center almost exactly two years ago, he hadn’t played Buffalo for a long time. In a phone interview before that concert, he recalled that Shea’s, which he had last visited “18 or 20 years ago” is “a wonderful, wonderful place. . . . I can sort of recall what it looked like. These reconditioned movie theaters have got the best sound, they’re absolutely great.” And Lightfoot, now 71 and in his fifth decade of touring, precisely fit the spirit of the classic building. The air was electric that night as a crowd of admirers from both sides of the border gathered to hear the venerable singer-songwriter whose tunes and lyrics, from “Sundown” to “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” were a soundtrack of their youth. Lightfoot seems to be touring as much as humanly possible these days. Perhaps he feels invigorated by the adoration he receives at every stop. At Shea’s two years ago, he treated the crowd to a selection of his old favorites and some seldom-heard classics. When his upper or lower notes faltered, the crowd joined in, supporting the star with haunting, hushed vocals. He returns to Shea’s for a concert, which promises to be similarly unforgettable, at 8 tonight. Tickets are $42.50 to $67.50 (Shea’s box office, Ticketmaster). For information, visit .

—Anne Neville

Legendary Lightfoot keeps crowd entrancedBy Anne Neville


Concert Review

Gordon Lightfoot

Friday evening in Shea’s Performing Arts Center.

October 2, 2010, 3:11 PM

The Gordon Lightfoot of 40 years ago who wrote mature songs of loss, longing and memory has been replaced by a legend whose delivery is impaired in its power but enhanced in its impact.

Lightfoot, now slim and elegant, with his long, straight hair brushed back smoothly onto his shoulders, entranced an enthusiastic crowd Friday night at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. He walked onstage with no introduction, dressed in a blue velvet jacket, a dress shirt and dark slacks, and swung directly into the yearning “Did She Mention My Name?” followed by the rocking “Carefree Highway.”

The top and bottom notes in Lightfoot’s formerly rich baritone are sometimes unreliable, and toward the end of the first part of the show, his voice was occasionally raspy and sometimes nearly a whisper.

Lightfoot will be 72 next month, and a near-fatal ruptured abdominal aortic aneurism in 2002 came perilously close to ending his life. Many other singers his age resort to artifice and camouflage, ramping up instruments, eliminating high or low notes or adding background singers. Many star singers in their 20s sing along to prerecorded tracks and call that a show. To his eternal credit, Lightfoot stands alone in the spotlight and plays his 12-or six-string acoustic guitar, reaching for the notes he wrote when he crafted some of the finest songs of the 1970s.

It would also be easy for Lightfoot to stick to his biggest hits. He has enough — and he did treat the audience to many, including “Early Morning Rain,” “Ribbon of Darkness,” “Too Close,” “Baby Step Back,” “Beautiful” and “Don Quixote.”

But he also sang “14 Karat Gold,” the toe-tapping “Cotton Jenny,” and “Fine as Fine Can Be,” the sweet song he wrote for his daughter when she was 10.

The quick-paced “Ribbon of Darkness” had the crowd clapping along, and at the end, he hesitated before hitting the final chords, then substituted the unmistakable, menacing opening chords of “Sundown”: “I can see her lying back in her satin dress/In a room where you do what you don’t confess.”

Lightfoot’s easygoing stage persona and goofy quips (“Meet me at the rock pile, baby, and I’ll get a little bolder!”) were a real contrast to the depth and poetry of his lyrics. The crowd was hushed as he performed the spellbinding “If You Could Read My Mind.”

But the triumph of the night was his masterpiece, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” In what must be his millionth performance of the iconic tune, Lightfoot infuses the detailed narrative with so much drama that it seems as though the ending might somehow be different this time. Lightfoot’s veteran backup band, guitarist Terry Clements, keyboardist Michael Heffernan, bassist Rick Haynes and drummer Barry Keane, rendered the ballad with note-by-note accuracy.

Midway through, Lightfoot remarked that Friday night’s show was the 51st of 80 shows he will do this year. To borrow a phrase from another Ontarioborn music legend, Neil Young, long may he run.

Concert Review

Gordon Lightfoot

Friday evening in Shea’s Performing Arts Center.

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charlene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2010, 10:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Buffalo - Shea's Perf.Arts Centre-Oct.1,2010 preview and review

Very nice review!
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