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Old 09-29-2011, 11:42 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 56
Default Gordon in Ithaca

Tonight was Gordon's first appearance ever at the State Theater in Ithaca. He was surprised he had never played this town before because he was aware that back in the day it had a superior barbershop quartet, and word seemed to have reached Gordon in Orillia that they were especially good. Gordon mentioned early in the evening how he was in a barbershop quartet during his high school years, and it was still on his mind at concert's end. Finally, between the last two songs, Song for a Winter's Night and Blackberry Wine, he broke into song, singing two of his old barbershop quartet songs a capella. The audience was amused, as was Gordon. It was surprising that he added anything that unusual to the repertoire because his voice tonight was not the strongest. He was just about reciting Song for a Winter's Night. The last time I had seen a concert was the four nights in May at Massey when one night was more spectacular than the one before. That was not the case tonight. From the outset, the audience was shouting out, "We can't hear you." "Turn up the sound." When nothing was done, they told the same to the sound man who was stationed at the back of the house. I believe he did turn up the sound because one could see that Gordon was taken aback by it a few times onstage. But after the intermission, the audience started up again, shouting out louder and louder, but no improvement in the volume was forthcoming for the remainder of the evening. Clearly, Gordon was in high spirits to be fooling around with the barbershop quartet thing, and in his introduction of the band, he mentioned the year that each of the members had started with him, Rick, 1970, Barry, 1972, Mike, 1981, and calling Carter the new kid. He said his first professional US appearance was as an opening act for Oscar Peterson in 1965. Visually everyone was doing their usual and precise best, but overall the evening lacked energy, mostly because you could see the performance but just couldn't hear it. The audience stayed throughout, though, and gave a standing ovation. I think they were satisfied intellectually but frustrated with the auditory. On another note, as an admirer of Terry's talent for decades, I would never have thought it possible for anyone to assume his role with such grace. Reminds me how they say on American Idol that the contestants have to make the music their own. Carter really walks that line between being faithful to Terry's arrangements while adding just enough personal flourishes to make his music interesting and distinctive. I will happily stand corrected if anyone else was present tonight who has a more positive review. Actually, I hope to read that that is the case.
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