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Old 05-08-2008, 07:10 AM   #1
Yuri
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Default Massey Hall-May 2008-Sun Review of Massey Opening Night

May 8, 2008
Gord's still gold

By JANE STEVENSON

http://www.torontosun.com/Entertainm...04591-sun.html

There is something downright comforting about Gordon Lightfoot performing at Massey Hall.
And it's not that old pair of shoes comfort.
Instead, there's a joy in seeing that the 69-year-old Canadian folk icon, kicking off a four-night stand last night at the venue that he's been playing for just over 40 years, still has some life in him, particularly six years after a life-threatening stomach aneurysm .
He has performed at Massey since that health scare but now it seems like he's really and truly back at touring again, proudly telling last night's audience that it was his 25th show of the year and there are dozens and dozens more still to come.
Still Lightfoot, initially decked out in an eye-catching purple velvet jacket before changing into a burgundy vest, explained that it always takes him a night to settle at Massey.
"I usually talk a lot more but I'm just trying to get through the songs," he explained after a 45-minute first half where he was a lot stiffer and wide-eyed than a more relaxed 45-minute second half that followed a 25-minute intermission.
And even if his vocal delivery is higher pitched, clipped and weaker than in his prime, it really is remarkable that he's still standing, let alone taking his restrained but talented four piece band -- with special mention to his guitarist Terry Clemens -- through 90 minutes worth of his incredible songbook from the past four decades.
The hits -- and there were many -- provoked cheers and clapping but it was sometimes his lesser known tunes that left a bigger impression.
"Now for something ethereal," he said, launching into Restless, one of the evening's highlights, mainly due to the touching lyrics which seem to reflect his never-ending troubadour ways.
And as he nears 70, Lightfoot has become a downright gentle performer.
Without a doubt, he is beloved as the audience shouted out "Gord!" or "Gordie" throughout the night and requested songs.
Sadly, they managed to drown out the beginning of a story he told about going to the Aud in Buffalo to meet Elvis shortly after he had recorded Lightfoot's Early Mornin' Rain, but arrived just as 18,000 people were pouring out the venue and he found himself "swimming upstream" as it were.
As Lightfoot recounted, by the time he had made it inside the arena he heard the announcer deliver those famous words: "Elvis has left the building."
Lightfoot, who then performed the song, opened last night with crowd favourites Cotton Ginny and Every Highway and injected the hits often.
What followed was astonishing: A Painter Passing Through, In My Fashion, Rainy Day People, Beautiful, Sundown, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, Baby Step Back and Blackberry Wine, to mention a few.
But it was his song for the ages, If You Could Read My Mind, that provoked the biggest response of the night and the performance was definitely an emotional one, bookended by the equally pleasing Don Quixote.
---
GORDON LIGHTFOOT
MASSEY HALL
LAST NIGHT
Sun Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:50 AM   #2
Jesse Joe
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Default Re: Sun Review of Massey Opeing Night

Thanks for that great review Yuri. One down three to go...
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Old 05-08-2008, 09:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: Sun Review of Massey Opeing Night

Thanks for posting this Yuri! Too bad the reviewer didn't get the titles of some of the songs correctly....but they'll learn
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:57 AM   #4
Nightingale
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Default Re: Sun Review of Massey Opeing Night

That was really nice to read.
Thanks for posting it Yuri...hope you guys are having fun.
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: Sun Review of Massey Opeing Night

Thank you once again Yuri. I agree with podunklander about the name of some of the songs being wrong. Hopefully someone will let her know before the next time.

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Old 05-11-2008, 04:16 PM   #6
charlene
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Default Re: Sun Review of Massey Opeing Night

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