“…at the Savoy.”
“Blue Rodeo’s playing at the Savoy? Tonight?”
I had the same conversation with five or six different people. Nobody seemed to know about the show but I heard that it’d been sold out for weeks.
I don’t usually like going to shows at the Savoy, or theatres in general, I guess, since I didn’t make any effort to get to even one show at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall during last year’s Celtic Connections Festival, even though I had a media pass that would gain me admission. I usually find the soft-seat setting restrictive, but I saw Bob Dylan in a theatre and it was a pretty cool environment for listening to a bunch of songs you know well. After seeing Blue Rodeo a number of times in crowded bars, I was actually looking forward to having a seat and a clear view.
The sound was very good. Clear. Loud enough. Balanced among the instruments. You could easily see Kim Deschamps groovin’ away on the pedal steel in his Yummy purple Tummysuckle t-shirt looking eerily like Peyton the Semi-Barbarian.
They started with “Rose Coloured Glasses” and went through a pile of songs. “Try”, “Diamond Mine”, “Bad Timing”, “Lost Together”, a lot of 5 DAYS IN JULY and some from TREMOLO. I wondered if they had a set list written out. They have so many great tunes it’s like a winning tarabish hand – first and last, bella, a fifty and a twenty to boot.
The crowd sang along to a few songs and constantly shouted out requests, some of which were honoured instantly while others were settled by coincidence.
Brilliantly textured music, scratchin’ from the violin to the mouth organ behind the vocal…thumpin’ along with Bazil on the stand up bass, the arrangements were familiar but fresh. The songs had all the familiar hooks but you could feel that there was music being created in the room.
The intermission brought everyone out to the newly renovated lobby of the Savoy where I discovered that even after millions of dollars, the men’s bathroom still isn’t big enough to accommodate the bar.
During the second set, Greg Keelor announced that his Cape Bretoner birth father was in the audience before he sang an a cappella number about being abandoned and the search that the rest of his life will be. It could have used some melodic inspiration, but his delivery made the point.