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Old 09-25-2017, 01:37 PM   #1
charlene
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Default New London CT review

http://www.theday.com/article/201709...29665Published September 24. 2017 7:00PM | Updated September 25. 2017 10:07AM
By Martha Shanahan Day staff writer

m.shanahan@theday.com martha_shan

Just before Gordon Lightfoot launched into his improbable American hit about a 1975 shipwreck on Lake Superior Saturday night, a woman in the audience held up her cellphone to record a video.

She peered into the screen, where Lightfoot’s band and some mildly psychedelic lighting effects on the Garde Arts Center stage came into focus.

In the middle was Lightfoot, the spotlight and smartphone camera rendering him into a bright, folk singer-shaped glow, too blurry to have visible edges or details, but still, undeniably, there.

Lightfoot came to his first show in New London in nearly two decades equipped with jokes about his age — 78 — playful digs at his longtime band, cheeky punchlines about the time he almost met Elvis, and a gentle swagger that kept a mostly loving crowd happy for just over two hours Saturday night.

And he brought his voice, thinner than it once was and heavily bolstered by his fantastic band, but still capable of lilting clarity.

A mid-show spritz of anti-allergy spray in the throat served both as one of those old-age jokes and a boost to his “mojo,” which he announced he had reclaimed a couple songs before an intermission.

Lightfoot, long-haired and vest-clad, mostly avoided more misanthropic tunes like "For Lovin’ Me" in favor of lesser-known, gentler songs from his decades-long career and 20 albums. He started with a timid rendition of "Now and Then," met with enthusiastic applause and one loud “we love you, Gordy.”
The outburst turned Lightfoot’s steely thousand-yard stare into a surprised grin, and a comeback.
“We love you back,” he said. “We couldn’t do it without you.”

Lightfoot’s crowd stayed with him the whole night, through the wavers in his voice and the four or five hearty “all rights” he relied on to remind the crowd he was having a good time.
Staples like "Sundown" and "Minstrel of the Dawn" were popular, as was his understated version of the hit "If You Could Read My Mind," which generated the middle-aged-man version of a teenager girl’s reaction to Harry Styles from several in the crowd.

Lightfoot seemed encouraged when the crowd sang along, and even gleeful when he trusted them to finish the last verse of "Ribbon of Darkness" and one deep-voiced audience member took the challenge with a perfectly timed solo to finish out the song's last lyrics.
“Leave your name with the receptionist,” Lightfoot quipped into the darkness.

His band had a good time too — Carter Lancaster on the guitar, Rick Haynes on bass, Barry Keane on drums and Mike Heffernan on keyboards — all charmingly introduced by Lightfoot, who read their names off a small card that he put back into a wallet in his back pocket.

All four have been playing with Lightfoot for decades, sticking with him during the energetic touring schedule that has followed the end of his recording career, and the collective experience showed Saturday night.

When he hit his lines on solid footing, Lightfoot sounded satisfyingly like himself, particularly after intermission on the melancholy "Drink Yer Glasses Empty” and on a flirtatious, foot-stomping version of "Baby Step Back."

By the time he got to an encore performance of "Cold on the Shoulder," the details had come into focus, and his New London welcomed him with open arms.
m.shanahan@theday.com
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:45 PM   #2
BILLW
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Default Re: New London CT review

Sounds about right even though I was not there. I hope we keep this going forever but that probably won't happen. So please buy tickets to all the shows you can afford and cheer the man on for as long as he gets up on that stage. He deserves our support.

Bill
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:50 AM   #3
JohninCt.
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Default Re: New London CT review

I hadn't seen Gordon and the band in 2 years and they sounded great. Gordon surely sounds better, now that the lingering flu virus he had has finally cleared up. He remarked he has some allergy's, the reason for the nasal spray, many of us can attest to having them also. A excellent show overall.
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:06 AM   #4
Auburn Annie
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Default Re: New London CT review

Quote:
Originally Posted by BILLW View Post
Sounds about right even though I was not there. I hope we keep this going forever but that probably won't happen. So please buy tickets to all the shows you can afford and cheer the man on for as long as he gets up on that stage. He deserves our support.

Bill
Hope to see him once more next year. This year-last Saturday -I saw Sir Paul McCartney at the Carrier Dome along with 35,000 other fans. Fabulous, set the place on fire (literally and figuratively) with three solid hours of everything from the Quarrymen days to My Valentine written a few years ago for wife Nancy. Hotter than blazes indoors (no a/c) and with my mobility issues a real challenge working my way down to floor seats with no railings to hang onto but worth the workout.
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Old 09-29-2017, 10:59 AM   #5
charlene
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Default Re: New London CT review

The nasal spray seems to be a constant tour item for allergies now. His inner ear/vertigo problem causes balance issues so clearing his head, so to speak, helps a lot..
I will see him next Friday at a special event in TO (Tribute show/fundraiser -https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/the-way-we-feel-a-celebration-of-gordon-lightfoot-benefitting-mcdermott-house-canada-tickets-36077448620 ) and then again the following week at the LIGHTFOOT book launch I was invited to attend. Should be FUN!!!!!
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