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Old 12-05-2021, 03:30 PM   #5
Off Yonge Street
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 56
Default Re: Massey - Lightfoot Nov.25,26,27, 2021 - report/setlists/videos/photos/reviews

"Gordon Lightfoot unstoppable in three-night stand to reopen Massey Hall" - By Jane Stevenson (Toronto Sun) - November 27, 2021

You’ve never seen such determination to perform until you’ve watched 83-year-old Canadian folk icon Gordon Lightfoot struggle with putting back his fallen acoustic guitar strap while singing the entire first verse of his signature song, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, without missing a beat.

Nothing was going to stop Lightfoot, who was delivering his second of three nights at Massey Hall on Friday to reopen the hallowed venue that has been closed for three years for renovations.

And when he did get that elusive strap back on, the crowd of just over 2,500 erupted in applause in the refreshened hall, which dates back to 1894.

Among the new delights that will greet concertgoers are vastly improved seats — they’re comfy and red, with more hip and leg room and drink holders — the welcome return of gorgeous stained class windows that date back to the original build, and bars and restrooms on all three floors so no more running down to the basement for both booze and a bathroom break.

In other words, welcome to the 21st century Massey Hall.

Also, how wonderful to see it full of people again with the famous red sign outside lit up in all its bright neon glory.

Lightfoot, of course, was the man for the job when it came to reopening Massey Hall.

He was the last performer at the venue in July 2018 and before his first show on Thursday night he received the key to the city on the newly christened Allan Slaight stage from Toronto Mayor John Tory commemorating the troubadour’s 170th performance at the venue.

Tory also named Nov. 25 Gordon Lightfoot Day in Toronto.

“It was an emotional experience for which I am deeply honoured,” tweeted out Lightfoot afterwards.

On Friday night, Lightfoot and his four-man band delivered an efficient 70-minute set consisting of just 15 songs after he broke his wrist back in August during fall at home.

Lightfoot complained his injury still “feels like cement,” now that he has a steel plate in there, but he relayed that the doctors tell him he’ll feel better with time.

To compensate for his shorter sets on this run, he had opener Tom Rush Thursday and Friday nights and The Good Brothers will open his third show Saturday night.

“I’m very glad to be back here,” said Lightfoot. “They have done a wonderful job.”

Naturally, such crowd pleasers as Carefree Highway, Sundown, 14 Karat Gold, Beautiful (which he dedicated to his wife Kim), Baby Step Back, and Song For A Winter’s Night drew major cheers while If You Could Read My Mind, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, and Early Mornin’ Rain got standing ovations.

The audience also repeatedly proclaimed their love for him whenever he stopped talking between songs.

“Welcome back Gord!” screamed one man.

“Marry me Gord!” yelled a woman.

Lightfoot also carefully explained that Home From the Forest, which he also played, was “a hit on the CHUM charts” for Ronnie Hawkins when he covered it and mentioned that fellow Canadian artist Dan Hill was in the audience Friday night.

If you were close enough — I was lucky enough to be third row from the stage — you could hear Lightfoot say initially: “We’re on rock n’ roll time,” right before he even started.

It’s clear he takes performing very seriously and especially when it comes to Massey Hall.

Lightfoot was home again and neither he, nor we, were taking it for granted.

Last edited by Off Yonge Street; 12-05-2021 at 03:36 PM.
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