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Old 06-29-2007, 09:33 AM   #1
Auburn Annie
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Concert Review: Old favorites remembered

by: MATT ELLIOTT World Staff Writer
6/28/2007


Gordon Lightfoot captivated Tulsa crowd with poetic lyrics


A pale and gaunt Gordon Lightfoot looked almost like another ghost on the stage of the famously haunted Brady Theater Tuesday night, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

His everyman voice, showcased strongly on the original chorus of "Sundown," seemed weak and paper-thin Tuesday, but that added a warm vulnerability and an almost painful poignancy to his songs of tired-worldliness and longing, such as "Carefree Highway," "If You Could Read My Mind" and "Shadows."

He stood on the stage in black pants and a white shirt with a maroon vest. His thin arms wrapped around a big Gibson acoustic guitar. His gray hair was swept back from his high forehead and his eyes squinted out from his angular face into the spotlight as he sang.

Lightfoot, 68, performed for nearly two hours before a mature crowd at the venerable theater, with a 20-minute intermission in between. Murmurs of approval came from the audience at the opening notes of old favorites, a quiet hum of some folks singing along could be heard underneath Lightfoot's performance. All sat in their seats in rapt attention and no one took to the aisles, perhaps fearing they'd miss a moment they'd later regret.

While his voice made some of his performance unforgettable, such as "Rainy Day People" and "Early Morning Rain," others were ruined by his band, which at times overplayed. It didn't take much, but it was just enough to wash out Lightfoot's singing.

His drummer at times overpowered Lightfoot's delicate songs. And the synthesizer was so loud that its orchestration parts (intended to be a subtle background in a song) often fought with the tasteful melodies from Lightfoot's co-guitarist, making some numbers seem almost like the canned backing track for an "American Idol" competition.

Those things combined to wash out what the fans love, his poetry and his images of peace found in pastoral scenes of warm days and tender nights.

The sound problems seemed less frequent by the second half of the show. The band had mercifully pulled it back by the performance of "Restless," which is an approach that goes better with lyrics such as: "In the quietude of winter you can hear the wild geese cry / And I will always love that sound until the day I die."

The crowd loved the night with Lightfoot, giving him standing ovations for "Sundown," despite the fact that his voice gave out in the famous chorus, and for his Irish folk singer-like performance of "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

It was hard to escape the synthesizers throughout the night. It gave an unfortunate "Miami Vice"-sheen to "Make Way for the Lady." It also tanked "Old Dan's Records" when the keyboardist played a harmonica part that sounded just enough like a harmonica to ruin the song.

But Lightfoot, of Toronto, seemed to be in a jovial mood, joking with the audience about Oklahoma weather.

"We're down here in Tornado Alley, but it's flood time. We see it all the time up home on CNN. They cover it well," he said, drawing laughs from the crowd.

He also lamented the news coverage given Paris Hilton of late. He trotted out some jokes for the music nerds in the audience.

"We're here to prove one more time that there's hope for capoed music," he said, referring to a small bar or clamp placed over the strings on a neck of a guitar that raises the instrument's pitch without fretting a chord.

It was the right venue and the right crowd. It was a rainy and cool June night with stars peeking out around the clouds looming over the twinkling lights of downtown Tulsa.

But the show made me want to see Lightfoot on a stage by himself or backed only by his second guitarist -- maybe somebody who could sing harmony. A couple of human string players instead of the keyboardist would be an improvement.
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Old 06-29-2007, 09:40 AM   #2
charlene
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Tulsa's tough!
lol
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Old 06-29-2007, 10:27 AM   #3
RJ
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"the show made me want to see Lightfoot on a stage by himself or backed only by his second guitarist -- maybe somebody who could sing harmony. A couple of human string players instead of the keyboardist would be an improvement."

Good, don't go back..
Leave the seat open for someone else..
A review of the show he WANTED to see..
instead of the one he actually SAW..
Also, while he's playing producer in this last paragraph, what are the chances this clown even actually PLAYS a musical instrument..?..
Let Gord and the guys produce the show ok fella?.. They've had a allot'a practice..
;-\

"the synthesizer tanked "Old Dan's Records" when the keyboardist played a harmonica part that sounded just enough like a harmonica to ruin the song."

Tank THIS! ..buddy..
;-O

Obviously this twerp's never seen the guys before, is probably about 30 years old, and was in about row 30 on the side or something..
and how come being "thin" is such a crime..
I'm trying to be more thin, aren't you?..
Gord works out and doesn't drink..
What's the problem?..

Oh, and by the way?.. "his drummer"..? ..his name's Barry Keane.. and the "keyboardist"..? ..well, he's Mike Heffernan..
do your homework dude..

Ok.. I got that atta my system..
I'm ok now..
Sorry folks..

[ June 29, 2007, 11:12: Message edited by: RJ ]
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Old 06-29-2007, 10:30 AM   #4
johnfowles
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Dang too ruddy late

Somebody did NOT appreciate Mike and Barry!!
I took too long drafting this, and sorting out a computer glitch because I wanted to get in quick before mesdames Annie or CHar posted about this less than fully complimentary review of the Tulsa concert at:-
http://www.tulsaworld.com/entertainm..._D3_hGord81683

Gordon Lightfoot performs Tuesday for a crowd at the Brady Theater.
MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World
"were ruined by his band, which at times overplayed. It didn't take much, but it was just enough to wash out Lightfoot's singing. His drummer at times overpowered Lightfoot's delicate songs. And the synthesizer was so loud "
really!!!
in passing I will recount that if it were not for the Viet Nam war I just might be living in Tulsa today.
In early 1965 I had been understudying for nearly a year John Macternan who was then one of the Rolls-Royce technical reps at the Air Canada repair and overhaul base at Dorval airport Montreal, when American airlines were about to introduce a new fleet of UK made BAC-111 airliners

an American Airlines BAC 111 at Boston
and R-R needed a rep to be based at the American Airline's base at Tulsa, OK. Initially I was selected for this high profile position but the company lawyers in New York pointed out that as an unmarried alien with no children there was a very high chance that I would be caught in the recently extended draft for the war. Hence my mentor JohnMcT was sent and I took over his position as the rep for the R-R Tyne engine powering Air Canada's Vickers Vanguard fleet

A great engine the Tyne was, very compact for its power. usually in the 4000-5000 HP range but one once ran on test at over 10,000 HP

my father holding up a Tyne during a visit to the base on 9 July 1966.
It is a sobering thought that if it were not for the Viet Nam war I would not have heard Gord on Montreal radio in 1966 then seen him live at the New Penelope in May 1967,nor met Susan in the chat room in May 1999., then after my January 2000 stroke I would by now have died either from lung cancer ,another stroke or a heart attack. And not been able to bother you all with my ramblings and urging to post pictures., Ruth (Gitchewhatsit) I read your emailed plea and in case I do not get around to replying soon I suggest that you read mark and inwardly digest my remarkable “quick and dirty” picture posting tutorial at:-
http://www.corfid.com/ubb/ultimatebb...=003741#000002
and Grand Dame Rose that applies to you too!! (you promised that after the Texas concerts you would try it too so let’s be having yer!!)
John Fowles Bt
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:38 AM   #5
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Thanks John, I have printed your tutorial and will be studying it this afternoon!
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Old 06-29-2007, 01:14 PM   #6
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I'm not a muso. I am just a Lightfoot fan and I would dearly love to see him again - as he once was - on stage with just Rick and Terry accompanying him.
Don't roast me, RJ, for preferring the original Gord to the later model.
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Old 06-29-2007, 02:03 PM   #7
RJ
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re: Don't roast me, RJ..

eheheheheh..
ok man, it's a deal..

I guess my frustration (though I don't lay awake at night worryin' about this stuff particularly etc.).. is that all this stuff about how, "Oh his voice isn't what it was," and, "Oh he looks older," and, "Oh he has trouble hitting some of the high notes," etc., etc..

and I'm thinkin, "Uh, ya? and, the point is?"..
(I know this fantastic musician who, upon hearing Drifters, the first song on what was at the time the new album Painter Passing Through, refused on the spot to ever listen to Gord ever again because Gord's higher timber older voice made him too depressed to listen further, and I thought, "WHAT THE!?")..

I feel that at the base of these problems people have with Gord's aging (gonna get Freudian here fer a sec sorry) is a sort of projecting our own fears of mortality onto a public figure..
Y'know what I mean?..

Hey, the guy's in his late 60's..
ok, his voice has changed..
ok, he looks older..
ok, things aint the way they were 30 years ago..
"Uh, ya? and, the point is?"..

Isn't change and growth and aging and death..
isn't all that a beautiful thing really?..
I mean we don't express disappointment in our parents that they don't remain in their prime forever do we?..
We allow them to grow and age and change and find new beautiful things in themselves to keep expressing.. isn't that right?

He's lost some of the bottom end of that beautiful voice, but what has he gained?..
There's a wonderful vulnerability now in his singing which isn't apparent in, for example, Too Late For Prayin (with that infallible choir boy vibrato voice of youth), or Affair on 8th Avenue..

Gord for me, has grown, and changed so beautifully, not just as a singer, writer, but (not that I know him personally) as a human being..
which I suggest is most wonderfully exemplified by the change some years ago, of the live lyric in If You Could Read My Mind..
when he changed the (recorded track line we all know and love so well) "the feelings, that YOU lack."..
to.. "the feelings,.. that WE lack."..
etc..
think about it..

No one left to blame indeed..

I hold the guy up as a fine example of how to do this thing..
getting old..
and all it entails..
with a little dignity..
even if the pipes waver a bit..
over the years..
etc..

Ok, I'll shut up now..

Off to Cedar Rapids in about an hour..
The weather is amazing up here in the Midwest..
gonna spend the night in Waterloo..
See you guys!..
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Old 06-29-2007, 02:09 PM   #8
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RJ
I dont have a problem with Gord aging. I'm not as young as I was 30 years ago either.
Enjoy the show, RJ.
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Old 06-29-2007, 02:20 PM   #9
RJ
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Thanks..
We're leaving Minneapolis in a couple hours, spending the night in Waterloo. Why Waterloo? I have no idea.. never been there, why not, etc..

Then, Saturday, my Gordhead roadtrip buddy decided she wanted to find out where they filmed Field of Dreams, so, I look it up, straight across Hwy. 20 to a place called Dyersville.. so we're gonna spend the morning there..
http://iowa.statesite.com/field_of_dreams.jpg
http://www.roadsidephotos.com/rp/ballparks/fod00-01.jpg

Then onto Cedar Rapids, and the Crown Plaza, which they tell me, is 5 blocks from the gig (the Paramount Theater)..
http://www.absolutedsm.com/images/Ce...%20theater.jpg
http://www.jeffkorns.com/paramount2004marq.jpg
http://www.albany.edu/piporg-l/FS/dkpm.jpg

Our seats are to die for, and the Midwestern weather forecast here is 85 and sunny today through Sunday..

Oh man..
this definitely is..
the good stuff..
etc..
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Old 06-29-2007, 03:23 PM   #10
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Well I play the drums myself and I have played just about every song myself for the last 5 years on my own set... and I am here to tell you there is some stuff Barry does I cannot for the life of me figure out ie the hi hat shuffle on 14 Karate Gold... more difficult than it looks!!

This reviewer needs an attitude adjustment!

Grrr

/rant off :D
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Old 06-29-2007, 03:23 PM   #11
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I believe I heard somewhere or read somewhere that there are 2 kinds of people: People who like to or need to live and re-live the past (the good ole days), and those who find it easier to let the past go and look more toward the future (always planning what's next). I suppose that might explain why some people have such a hard time accepting our Gord as a man of 68 who has had major health set issues, etc., etc., and who long and wish for the younger Gord. And there are the rest of us who accept, appreciate and approve of what we see now when we attend a Gordon Lightfoot concert. Sure, I would love to magically transport back in time to the 70's to see him in his prime, but I sure would hate to have missed the 80's, 90's and 00's versions of Gordon Lightfoot which came after.

And by the way, RJ, I was at the Field of Dreams last year. And be sure not to tell anyone what you see in that cornfield!
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Old 06-29-2007, 04:31 PM   #12
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When I said I wished I could see Gord as he used to be - I was talking about his stage act. For me, personally, I prefer seeing him in simple mode: him and his guitar, Rick and Terry (or Red). G'gumee, I have NO desire to revisit the past and certainly do not consider myself someone who 'likes to or needs to relive the past'. Anyone on this forum who knows me will, I am sure, agree with that.
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Old 06-29-2007, 04:47 PM   #13
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I didn't mean to imply you personally, Silverheels. I just heard or read it somewhere and thought I'd share the info. I found it interesting. My husband is a person who thinks backwards, and I'm a forward thinker. Once I understood that, it helped me to understand him better. I do not believe either type is right or wrong or better or worse, but just that there are 2 types of people, or at least that's what I've heard. Sorry if I offended you.
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Old 06-29-2007, 05:51 PM   #14
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Well, there might be some merit to the sound complaints the critic made. Although the last show I saw at Niagara Fallsview Casino had good sound, earlier ones - including Massey Hall and Hamilton Place - had too-low sound levels, especially on the lead vocal, so especially when Barry Keane leaned into the drums, things would tend to get drowned out. As I said before, turn up the amps!
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Old 06-29-2007, 09:33 PM   #15
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Yes, Gord has changed. He's older. His voice is not quite the same, but it's still GORD, and with age, has come wisdom and understanding.
He is now a hero and friend who can relate totally to his audiences, and they to him. It is a beautiful thing, not something to be afraid of or shy away from. All of life goes forward.
We love you Gord.
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Old 07-23-2007, 11:36 AM   #16
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Hey does anyone have the accurate setlist from this show? I'd really appreciate it!
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Old 07-23-2007, 12:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by betterway86:
Hey does anyone have the accurate setlist from this show? I'd really appreciate it!
I suspect that you are SOL betterway as nobody seems to have contacted Wayne with a set list and nobody has (yet)posted one hereabouts or come to that on the Newsgroup.
Whilst replying I reread this topic and regret to have to say that neither of the Grand Dames hereabouts Rose nor Ruth yet qualify for a prestigious graduation certificate in displaying pictures hereabouts.
The latter intoned as long ago as the morning of June 29th (almost a full month ago)
"Thanks John, I have printed your tutorial and will be studying it this afternoon!"
and I recall the former making a rash promise to try "after the Texas concerts" which ended on June 24th
Any good excuses ladies??

A public education posting from
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Old 07-23-2007, 03:03 PM   #18
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Well John, I took a trip to Orillia 2 weeks ago, and I'm picking up my 35mm photos today, so if I can figure out a way to scan them and post them, I will definitely do it, as I had some photos specially taken with you folks in mind.

Best regards...
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