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Old 10-04-2009, 02:06 PM   #1
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Default Omaha- Set List and Review (Oct 1)

The I-29 resumed before first light Thursday. Lightning, thunder and a heavy downpour met me as I hauled my gear out out of the West Fargo Super 8. Shivering, I started the car. The thermometer read 49 degrees - you talk about a cold thunderstorm. I reflected back that I didn't get much luck with the weather on these tours. Last April, my wife and I drove from Thunder Bay to Sault St. Marie on a very cold day, snow, rain, wind, around Gitche Gumee.

Omaha is some 430 miles south of Fargo, straight down I-29. It should have been easy but the weather didn't cooperate. The wipers were on nearly the entire time. Fog, thunderstorms, etc. The worst was the endless road construction. Whatever your politics, the stimulus money is hard at work on I-29 in S. Dakota.

I stayed on the Iowa side of the border. After finding the Missouri Valley Super 8, I went into downtown Omaha. Omaha was a concrete spaghetti jungle. I found the Holland Center mainly because I saw Gord's semi-truck and the beige tour bus used by the crew. The Holland Center is absolutely gorgeous - inside and out. I parked in the Qwest Center parking lot. The big news in Omaha was not that Gordon Lightfoot was in town but that Miley Cyrus had postponed Friday's concert with strep throat.

I had a bite downtown at a bar in what used to be called the Old Marketplace. A park with a beautiful canal, swans, flower garden is next to the Holland Center.

The auditorium has a wide, deep stage and was a bit overkill for the small size of the band. It also looks like Gordon has a different background, instead of a curtain, it seems like it was 6 triangles, ship sails that gave some different lighting effects. The lights dim and the band and Gord takes the stage. Here's the set list:

1) Cotton Jenney
2) Carefree Highway
3) Sea of Tranquility
4) 14 Karat Gold
5) Never Too Close
6) A Painter Passing Through
7) Let It Ride
8) Rainy Day People
9) Shadows
10) Beautiful
11) The Watchman's Gone
12) Ribbon of Darkness
13) Sundown
14) Wreck of the E. F.


15) Triangle
16) Hangdog Hotel Room
17) Ring Neck Loon
18) Restless
19) Clouds of Loneliness
20) Waiting For You
21) Make Way for the Lady
22) If You Could Read My Mind
23) Don Quixote
24) Baby Step Back
25) Fine as Fine Can Be
26) Early Morning Rain
27) Song for a Winter's Night
28) Blackberry Wine
29) Old Dan's Records

Gord was in reasonably good voice, maybe not as consistently good as Fargo the night before. He botched the start of the second verse of "Let it Ride". He always does a good job making up lyrics until he gets back on cue. He was very engaging. He praised the beauty and acoustics of the Holland Center. (Very deservedly)

There were a few empty seats at the far back of the balcony, but the place was mostly full. My seat was front row but very much off to the Mike's side of the stage. The crowd was pleasant and more polite than others I have seen. Before Hangdog Hotel Room, he talked about Jerry Jeff Walker and Doug Kershaw. They were performing for the Mariposa Folk Festival and stayed at his house. Kershaw had broken his fiddle and it was in for repair at the shop in Toronto. The song came from the two-day party that ensued.

Before Ring Neck Loon, he mentioned that he was in the home of Wild Kingdom (Mutual of Omaha). If you are younger than 45 or so, you probably won't get this one. The next song, Restless, had a nature theme too. He talked about all the wild geese and said the "Sully probably wouldn't appreciate this song." (That's pilot who crashed landed in the Hudson after the plane ran into geese.)

Before Waiting for You, he talked about finishing a tour at the San Francisco Opera House. After the tour, he and the band were flying back to Toronto. He said the song "gelled" somewhere over Nebraska as the Northern Lights were in fine form that night. It was the first tour after his new marriage and he couldn't wait to get home. He said something about that his wife's energy in seeing him home wasn't as exuberant as he would have thought. If I think of the word he used, I'll post it but it got a big reaction out of the audience (and band).

I thoroughly enjoyed "Fine as Fine Can Be". First time I had heard the song performed - 45 concerts over 32 years. It was dedicated to his daughter from his first marriage. It is plucked on the 6-string with string support from Terry.

"Song for a Winter's Night" was done by a request. I liked the rearranged vocals and Mike's and Barry's work as the song ends.

Very good concert- surprised by 29 songs. And 9 different than what was done in Fargo. How he remembers all the lyrics with so few errors is remarkable.

I don't know how I found my way out of Omaha. I took a wrong turn, started heading west towards Lincoln, before I got turned around and headed east towards Des Moines. The I-29 tour was 2/3 over. I'll post the Sioux Falls set list and review later today.
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: Omaha- Set List and Review (Oct 1)

Sounds like all turned out great! Glad you made it safely to the Holland certainly sounds quite impressive.
THe set lists at Massey should be quite varied from the sound of things. Every night should be a totally new concert..can't wait.
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Omaha- Set List and Review (Oct 1)

Great story Seafarer. Reading these reviews has really gotten me amped for Gord's Napa show. I think next year I need to do one of these multi-shows.

Thanks again!

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Old 10-04-2009, 06:13 PM   #4
Jesse Joe
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Default Re: Omaha- Set List and Review (Oct 1)

Thanks for sharing this with the group Seafarer, really enjoyed reading it.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Omaha- Set List and Review (Oct 1)

I believe this is the word he used..."snort" - He said that the only thing his wife did when he got home was "snort" - she wasn't exactly thrilled to see him.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Omaha- Set List and Review (Oct 1)

Thanks Buddy. "Snort" was the word Gord used to describe his wife's reaction to his return from tour. This was the intro before "Waiting For You" in Omaha.

Rick Haynes was getting a big laugh out of it too, as I recall.
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:55 AM   #7
Peter Bro10
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Default Re: Omaha- Set List and Review (Oct 1)

Enjoyed reading your review, Seafarer.
An excellent idea for an early birthday gift!! I like that!
Fond memories inspite of the foul weather...
I also appreciated the little, woven-in, LIGHTFOOTisms!!! clever.
Bless you all and keep you on the road to tenderness
Heaven can be yours just for now

Peter Bro10
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Omaha- Set List and Review (Oct 1)

seafarer - don't know if you saw this clip I shot of Lightfoot at the Trib show in January singing the re-worked SFAWN.
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