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Old 09-24-2017, 06:20 PM   #1
BILLW
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Default Reading PA Friday September 22, 2017

Friday night was our first ever visit to Reading and we had a lovely time. We checked in to the Double Tree by Hilton with a few minutes to relax and get tarted up for the show. The venue offered a dinner option that began at 6:00 PM and we had decided to give it a try.

There's always something with us so in the spirit of full disclosure here it is. The Santander Arena is directly across the street from the hotel so we walked over and tried to get in. No luck at all and we even spoke to two other fans who were as concerned as we were. Walked around the entire building trying doors to now avail. Finally saw two security men who said "ah you want the Performing Arts Center but that's about 5 minutes away" and they gave us directions. Yay.

The Dinner On The Mezz was very nice and we saw Jenn and Gwen had decided to try it as well. Once safely in the right building we had smooth sailing.

The show was great with the band and the sound in top form and Gord doing well himself. He was super chatty and even chided himself about getting on with the show. The disturbing thing was the size of the crowd for a Friday night at 7:30. There were hundreds of empty seats. We spoke to Jenn and Gwen at intermission and they were surprised as well.
It may have been the high price for the good seats and there was an entire empty row (I think it was center Row C) to our left. The small crowd was very quiet except for great applause and some hollering out.
It was the first time that Lizanne and I had seen him stop and do two different requests. It was very nice and the crowd loved it but once he got back on track there was no stopping his set list.

Which brings us to my standard comment that I don't do set lists and since Lisa (formerlylavender) was unable to join us I've got nothing.

So please folks if he comes anywhere near you buy a ticket and go to the show. We want to keep this going. The venue was his standard size and very beautiful so I have no idea where the people were.

Back at the hotel I almost struck a man, I managed to control myself in the lobby. He was telling his group "well now I've seen two performers who were already dead - first was Art Garfunkel and then tonight it was Gordon Lightfoot". They didn't laugh which was good but I almost spent the night in jail.

Jenn said she was heading back towards home for the show in New London CT and I assume she had a great time.

Peace,

Bill
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:11 AM   #2
formerlylavender
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Default Re: Reading PA Friday September 22, 2017

Hey Bill, glad you enjoyed the show! I'm sorry I had to miss this one.

That's so funny about the arena - at least you weren't the only ones! How strange that the venue was so empty. I wonder if there was a booking problem? The up side is that Gord did a couple of requests..I can't remember him ever doing requests. I wonder what songs they were. Maybe someone else that was there will remember and post.

The blowhard in the lobby isn't worth your time...and Lizanne having to bail you out of a Reading holding cell would definitely have put a damper on the weekend

Thanks for the review. I wish more people would post about their concert experiences - even a sentence or two would increase the activity and enthusiasm around here.
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:09 AM   #3
BILLW
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Default Re: Reading PA Friday September 22, 2017

Those two I remember. The first was Ring Them Bells "a song by my old friend Bob Dylan" he remarked and shortly thereafter Song For A Winter's Night.

Bill
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:23 PM   #4
DarylK
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Default Re: Reading PA Friday September 22, 2017

I'll add my thoughts on Friday's show in Reading, as I was there and live only about 20 minutes away. I too was surprised and disappointed at the sparse crowd. My thought, possibly incorrect, was that may have been due to the late announcement of this concert. I believe this date was only announced toward the end of July, not 9 months or so in advance as seems to be the norm these days. There were a decent amount of ads for the show in the local paper, but again, for only two months. I'm also hoping that the horribly unfair review of his last performance in Reading in 2015 (by a reviewer who left after only 20 minutes of the show; don't get me started) didn't negatively impact attendance.

I did think Gord sounded better on Friday than at any time I've seen him since his severe medical issues. His voice was stronger, he was chatty, he seemed to be enjoying himself, the band sounded great; all in all an outstanding performance. The new background displays were also a nice touch.

After the show, I walked around to the back of the arena, hoping to get my "Evening with Gordon Lightfoot" booklet signed. Gord's road manager (Warren?), approached me and the two other fans waiting outside and asked if we had been to the concert. After showing our tickets, he said, "We want to wrap this up a little quicker tonight, so why don't you take these passes and come inside and talk to Gordon." He handed the three of us Guest passes and took us back inside. We got to talk to Barry and Carter on the way in, then after sitting in the arena for maybe five minutes Gordon came out and greeted the three of us plus one other fan. Gordon talked to all of us, shook hands, posed for photos, signed the items we each had brought, then left with his wife for their next performance. I was beyond stunned and incredibly grateful for the invite from Warren. This was the 35th (plus or minus) time I've seen Gordon, and have gotten to talk briefly with him on several occasions, but this was way beyond any of the other meetings. A great evening, with an ending I never expected.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:38 PM   #5
BILLW
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Default Re: Reading PA Friday September 22, 2017

Sounds like we shared the same impressions DarylK. If we're ever at another show together I'd like to shake your hand. Thanks for the review.

Bill
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Old 09-26-2017, 09:43 AM   #6
formerlylavender
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Default Re: Reading PA Friday September 22, 2017

Thanks Bill, I'm glad you remembered the two songs. I like both but was hoping maybe they were more obscure ones not played in concert any more (or at least very often).

DarylK, I hope you're right that the late announcement and not the negative review is why the show didn't have a great turnout. And how cool that you were invited back to the meet and greet - what a bonus!
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