Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hippiefest 2008
Toronto ON
Featuring: Eric Burdon and the Animals
Jack Bruce
The Turtles
The Hollies

In a year where I've bought tickets to see Lesley Gore, George Jones, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, Robert Gordon and Bob Dylan, I couldn't very well turn down a free invitation to see this 60's flashback. It seems being a steady customer of LIVE NATION has it's benefits. Received an email the day before the show with an offer of two comps. Very nice seats too.

Hippiefest, almost enough to keep any self-respecting counter-culture wannabe away...but not me.

I'll start with this: I never was a big fan of these bands when they were in their heyday. I'm too young for Cream and The Animals and both the Turtles and Badfinger were kind of marginal pop-bands in my view. I've since come to love Flo and Eddie, if only for persevering, likely in the face of advice to do otherwise. Jack Bruce or Eric Burdon don't need my vote to validate their impressive contributions to the rock pantheon. (Burdon's biggest contribution came when he copped Dylan's arrangement of the very familiar House of the Rising Sun, which Dylan had dutifully stolen from Dave Van Ronk, short-ciruiting any chance that guy had at mainstream success. Jack Bruce was in that band with god.) Joey Molland of Badfinger is also on board, reminding us that someone actually tried to fill the hole The Beatles left behind. Toronto resident Terry Sylvester of The Hollies, opens the night, which makes this a pretty hit-laden show.

I wouldn't normally come down to this hell-hole of a venue on purpose. It's windy; if it ain't muggy and hot, it's damp and cold. The thing was built to insure that 1/3of your body gets fried by the setting sun. Let's not even talk about the swarming, swooping, sea gulls.

The food at this place leaves a lot to be desired...for your animals. It's like a colon-based version of Russian Roulette if you're human and want to eat before a show. (note: The Marina Grill has decent fare, don't let this scare you away from the park.)

The parking rates are usurous, if you can get one. The nearest transit interchange, before you exit the downtown core to traverse our sprawling, industrialized waterfront, is miles away, should the parking not be available. And then there's all those happy-smiling people enjoying the Provincial park. Uggghhhh.

Not to mention the security, which is very tight. After watching the yellow-jackets molest hundreds of incoming guests I decided to remove my mics from the collar of my shirt because their process would certainly have uncovered them. I do have an alternate subterfuge and it worked.

Strange crowd. I guess for "Hippiefest" that should be assumed. My guess is 25% of the people here haven't been to a concert since their kids were born. 10% of those have dragged their kids out to this show. 50% haven't been to more than one show a year since they were still popping zits. About 1 in 2 patrons are impaired beyond belief. 24 % are out here to enjoy the evening. Cece and I are here for the music. We are outnumbered. And yes, if you're doing the math, we did make up 1% of the crowd. (hyperbole alert!)

While oil may be at an all-time high, concert etiquette is at an all-time low. And getting worse. Let me give you a short-list of the annoyances:

Your ticket has a section, row number and's not rocket-science to figure out where you're supposed to be sitting. If you don't know, recognize that I don't work here and really don't give a sh*t if you find it, except to get you away from me.

While the patron in front of you may like beer, it's unlikely they use it as a cologne. If you can no longer keep your beer in the cup, it's time to stop drinking.

If you're gonna clap, get rhythm.

If you're gonna sing the words out loud, get laryngitis.

It's about $130 cheaper to chat with your girlfriend/boyfriend/bunkmate/significant other/hooker on hire OUTSIDE the venue, than inside. And you'll hear just as much. I'll hear more.

If you talked through the song, don't clap. You're not fooling me and you're only expanding your disrespect to the artist.

By now you might be wondering why this surly b*astard even bothered to head out on a Friday night. Well, I like the music. To paraphrase Denis Leary; you see this scar on my wrist? I got that when American Idol hit the air.

Just another note before we start. The sound was brutal. Whoever was in charge could not decide on which version of "not nearly good enough" to settle on. I've seen a few shows where the acts were marred by less than stellar sound but the sound was usually bad in the same way all night. These guys managed to find a myriad of manners to muddy the music. The first two acts suffered from being mixed too low, the vocal mics were almost drowned by the bass. The Turtles should sue for the treatment their set got, from the lack of a working microphone for Mark Volman, to the 30 decibel spike in volume that just let us hear that mic distorted. During Bruce's set, which was already hampered by having the lead instrument be the bass, another spike in volume during Sunshine of Your Love resulted in my recording getting a little 'hot'. It also marked the beginning of the 'concusive' portion of the show, which lasted through to the last Animals song, where, I swear, the volume was increased yet again. Whales that had wandered into the Island waters from the Eastern Gap beached themselves in search of the droning call.

In spite of that I managed to obtain a capture that's 'listenable', and, if you don't listen too hard, enjoyable. MP3 samples are marked by the * and hyperlink.

One of the first songs I remember taking a shine to as a kid was The Herman's Hermits cover of Bus Stop. This eventually led me to The Hollies, who didn't break in America at the level of some of the bands that preceeded them in the extended British Invasion of the '60's, but produced a handful of classic pop tunes. Ironically their biggest hit Stateside was the 'unHollie' like anthem, Long Cool Woman in A Black Dress, devoid, as Terry points out, of the trademark harmonies that made this band so listenable. But the song didn't suck, either. The early sets never get enough volume and the crowd is just not settled enough to let you soak it in, but song after song elicits a smile and a chorus of cheers from the audience. Every song a hit! Though Terry wasn't around for the early years, he replaced Graham Nash in the band in 1969 joining them for the "Hollies Sing Dylan" album, he placed his mark on their history with the mega-hit He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother.

Terry looked happy to be included, he enjoyed playing these songs as much as we enjoyed hearing them. For bottom billing he was an added bonus.

Terry Sylvester (formerly of The Hollies)

Track 01 Flo & Eddie Intro

Track 02 Carrie Ann

* Track 03 Bus Stop

Track 04 Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress

* Track 05 He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

Joey Molland looked happy to be alive. He survived the blessing and curse that was being a member of Badfinger. He got in just under the wire, after McCartney had offered The Iveys his left-over track from The Magic Christian, Come And Get It. Last minute band changes resulted in the Liverpool native being added to the roster on lead guitar just before the release. And a new band name. All those good could they be refused. The Apple label, McCartney producing your first hit record, Harrison providing the slide on your biggest hit...always a price to pay and this band has had a history marred by industry squabbles and member suicides. All sorts of sad stories in rock...and all sorts of survivors. Molland laid the hits down and the audience ate it up.

Joey Molland (formerly of Badfinger)

Track 01 Flo & Eddie Intro
Track 02 Baby Blue
Track 03 Come and Get It
* Track 04 Day After Day

Track 05 No Matter What

The Turtles are a gas because they are so camp. They've been camp since the tour where they fronted Zappa's Mothers of Invention. Truth be told, they were putting us on from day one when they happened upon a monster hit with a Dylan tune and found themselves as real rock stars. They are the Cheech and Chong of popular music. Imagine if Corky and the Juice Pigs had recorded Paul Anka's My Way. Ok, don't imagine. They fronted the evening as MC's and put in a rather loose set of #1 hits. Terry Sylvester had noted earlier that the bands from the '60's are now in their
'60's. Howard Kaylan proposed that The Turtles are now, as they always have been, a drug-band. 'Course the drugs are no longer hallucinogenic, they are more along the line of diuretic or selective inhibitors.

The Turtles (aka Flo and Eddie, aka Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan)

Track 01 Flo & Eddie Intro
Track 02 You Baby
Track 03 It Ain't Me Babe
Track 04 Elenore
Track 05 Band Intro
* Track 06 She'd Rather Be With Me
Track 07 Happy Together

Flo & Eddie lay the love-juice on Jack Bruce. His long list of accomplishments are read, his closeness to god is remembered, and his set hit's the two high-marks of Cream's career while tossing in a wonderful surprise in the guise of the Mississippi Sheiks' Sittin' On Top of the World. (note: second of three "dylan-related" occurences onf the evening, Bob covered this on one of those mid-90's roots records, and wrote The Turtles first hit and introduced the greater listening public to VanRonk's arrangement of Rising Sun.)

Way too much bass on this set but Bruce lends a gravitas to the proceedings, his accomplishments grander, his talent more enduring, he's a real-life link to the glory days of modern Rock. (Just kidding about the bass. I dig DFA79, The Carps, and The White Stripes, who don't have a bassist but Meg kicks a bass drum that will concuss you back to the Stone Ages.)

Jack Bruce (formerly of Cream)

Track 01 Flo & Eddie Intro
Track 02 As You Said
* Track 03 Sunshine Of Your Love

* Track 04 Sitting On Top Of The World
Track 05 I Feel Free
Track 06 We're Going Wrong
* Track 07 White Room

Eric Burdon was another pleasant surprise. Unlike all the performers before him this evening he is still developing his art. This ain't the album version of any of these songs. His renditions of the hits challenged the audience. Lots of energy and not nearly as brooding as you'd remember them. The only things missing to make this a perfect set were Sky Pilot, Monterey and Spill the Wine!
The dub mix of Rising Sun, with the wonderful Louis Armstrong snippet to open, was the highlight of the evening.

Eric Burdon and The Animals

Track 01 Flo & Eddie Intro
Track 02 We Gotta Get Out Of This Place
Track 03 San Franciscan Night
Track 04 Don't Bring Me Down
* Track 05 When I Was Young
Track 06 It's My Life
Track 07 Paint It Black
* Track 08 Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
(L.Armstrong)/House of the Rising Sun

Track 09 Boom Boom

Friday, July 11, 2008

Micky Dolenz
formerly of The Monkess
with The Spoons
Capitol Event Theatre
Toronto ON
July 10,2008

In what may be the strangest pairing of acts I've seen in a good long while, 1980's synth-darlings The Spoons opened a show for Monkees drummer Micky Dolenz at the I'm A Believer Benefit for the Utopia Conservation Area and Gristmill Restoration Project. While I generally go for the more basic pop-stylings of the Monkees, I dabbled in synth-pop for a brief while when there was little else to choose from...those were dire years, my friends, the mid-80's. I'm open to all types of music, though I don't usually like to mix my medicines on the same evening. What's the drug of choice for a show like this? Acid or X? Think I'll opt for the natural high of the sweet smell of excess.

The Capitol Event Theatre is a converted turn-of-the-century movie house, recently restored to it's 1918 splendor...which is good, as long as you weren't in Paris in 1918. Pretty sure it hosts more weddings than concerts, but space is space, eh?

Saw The Spoons open an early version of The Police Picnic, back in 1982. They were very close to the front of the bill with Flock Of Seagulls; there's a dueling-hairstyles contest in the making. They were followed by The English Beat, who caused my friend to comment "What's this? Song 1 Version 3?"; not everyone had an ear for dance music. Joan Jett was there too, in what is the closest example I can find in my concert history to the OTHER mismatched artist combination. She was pelted with fruit, threatened to leave the stage if it didn't stop, but eventually bore the abuse and did her set, to her credit. That show closed with The Talking Heads absolutely blowing the limp Police off the stage. I'm sure I recognized most of The Spoons set, however it's not like it was memorable, in light of the talent that followed.

But that was then. This is now.

Saw Micky Dolenz come through Toronto in 1986 with Davey Jones and Peter Tork, bringing all the fun of The Monkees with him, but leaving most of the musical song-writing talent back home in White-Out heir, Michael Nesmith. Micky was to Davey Jones what Keith was to Mick, what John was to Paul or what Danko was to Manuel...the rock'n'roll heart of the band. Always preferred his tunes, though the girls seemed to have a hankering for the syrupy sweet, more melodic offerings, of Davey.

The Spoons opening set was very good. Though they had difficulty enticing the crowd to get up on their feet they plowed through their hits with enthusiasm and energy. Their sound is actually much better when you strip off the multiple layers of harmonies and electro-pop noise that were put on in the studio. Set up as a strict rock band; guitar, bass, drums and the keys, they were being more true to their roots in a Burlinton garage than the dated music put to disc a couple decades ago. Underneath all that sound were some more than decent songs. And let me tell you...they're looking good as well. Gordon Deppe was in fine voice but it was Sandy Horne, on bass, who was surprisingly impressive. I got what I expected from Gordon, maybe more, but her work was stellar.

Highlights of the set were; Old Emotions, the silent gaps where the overlayed harmonies used to be do a better job conveying the passion in this song. Arias and Symphonies was an excellent opener and deserved a standing ovation. Romantic Traffic suffered from a failed attempt to get the crowd to sing-a-long. Nova Heart finally pulled 50 or 60 patrons out of their seats. It was nice to see the band get the response their performance deserved, at the final end, anyway.

Micky's set was nothing short of a gift. I've been seeing a lot of acts lately who are in the twilight of their careers. Some are performing at close to their best; Springsteen, Neil Young and Leonard Cohen among them. Others are giving a more-than-respectable account of themselves, artists like Lesley Gore, Timm Finn and Joe Jackson. Some are proving that maybe it's time to pack it in; Dylan and George Jones come to mind. Micky's out there giving a good accounting of himself.

Of course Micky's talents preceed and exceed his fortuitous involvement with The Monkees. His versatility, (he's had jobs in front of and behind the camera, worked onstage and off, and maintained a foot in the door of rock n roll), would likely have found him successful even if there was no Don Kirshner.

Even though he doesn't tour much (he's got about a half dozen concerts booked the rest of this year) he has obviously paid attention to the show he's put together. From the song selections to the onstage patter, he has an idea of who he is to his audience and who he was as a young man in those wild times. Much like he was the 'devil-may-care' character in his Monkees incarnation, he holds the same type of worldview now...a little more aged, but with that, a humility and gratefulness that shines through the good natured goofiness.

The show opens with the band onstage, singing the first verse of The Monkees Theme (Boyce/Hart). It cuts short and Micky appears onstage to launch into the apropos, That Was Then, This Is Now (V Brescia). Kind of sets the tone for the evening. We're gonna get something old...but a new look at it.

With no delay we're into the first song I remember being released as a single before it appeared on any album, A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You (N Diamond). In my young years this was the beginning of the end of my massive interest in the band. It's not that they didn't keep making great 60's pop songs but it got us past those first two great albums that were jammed with hits. It was nowhere near the end of their popularity as it became their 4th consecutive #1 hit on the CHUM Charts. They would have 4 more before their career wound down.

She (Boyce/Hart) follows quickly. I love this song, I really favour a lot of songs that never charted, album tracks that grew on me from repeated listenings to the LP's. I would watch the weekly TV shows hoping we'd get one of these lesser known tracks. Micky's starting to loosen up his vocal chords on this song. He's been a little tentative early, hitting his mark, his vocal styling distinct, but fully controlled. What a terrific hidden gem, a song of betrayal and longing, a real stinging assault, unlike most of the songs that were blanketing the airwaves in the Summer of Love.
Of course it wasn't unlike their subsequent summer hit, Words (Boyce/Hart), which charted at #1 in July of 1967. Micky's really hitting his stride at this point, good and warmed up, a handful of songs under his belt in rapid order.

He follows with a bit of a breather in the more moderately tempoed Sometime In The Morning (Goffin/King). His delivery here displays his stage experience as it's a very controlled projection of his voice that carries well, adding some punch to an otherwise somnabulant tune.

Micky takes a moment out to speak of the great songwriters who wrote tunes for The Monkees. Though he didn't make a special note of it I recollected seeing the Boyce/Hart name on more than a few of the tracks, and they've been featured already, with their biggest hits yet to come. It's quite an impressive array of writers and Micky's gratitude for being fed these songs is obvious and unabashedly heartfelt.

He follows that homage with the tune that started it all, Last Train To Clarksville (Boyce/Hart). Easy to say a fan favourite. And band favourite as there were smiles all around as they punched out a rocking version.

The talk breaks start coming a little quicker. Let's face it...I'm getting winded just watching. We get some insight into the audition for The Monkees as the band breaks into the tune that "got me the gig", a song he played regularly on the bar circuit when he fronted the cover-band Micky Dolenz and the One Nighters, Johnny B Goode (C Berry) .

Another talking break, which are beginning to follow the all out rockes, as Micky regales us with the absurb story of Jimi Hendrix opening for The Monkees. Turns out Micky had seen Hendrix perform at Montery Pop and thought he was 'theatrical'. He thought the Monkees theatrical as well and recommended the pairing. Unthinking industry people went along with it. The scene was...weird, as 10 & 12 year old girls sat in the arena's with their Mom's and got bombarded by Hendrix' sonic assault. He follows the tale with a blistering version of Purple Haze (J Hendrix).

Of course, that means another little catch-your-breath chat. Still giving credit to the songwriters he highlights the talents of fellow band member, Mike Nesmith, with a rendition of, The Girl I Knew Somewhere (M Nesmith). Kind of in the mold of the syrupy Sometime In the Morning we got earlier.

Nesmith is highlighted again as Micky's sister, Coco, takes the lead on The Stone Pony's hit, Different Drum.

Mega-hit (I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone (Boyce/Hart) is next and the band is really plowing through this stuff, this ain't no half-assed Oldies effort.

Highlight of the evening is next. Another 'rare' tune, the B-side to Daydream Believer, the runaway-train, band-penned tune, Goin' Down (The Monkees) . This was a real treat to discover back in those heady days at the end of the '60's. It's Micky at his manic best. Machine-gun fast delivery of a story of rejection and salvation. And it's got nothing to do with's a river-ride to New Orleans.

Micky leaves the stage for a well-deserved breather as Coco moves to the center to cover White Rabbit (G Slick). This is followed by another brief talk where Micky tells us something about his entertainment industry upbringing and he duets with Coco on the first song they ever sung, a lovely harmonic (Acapulco)(g) version of Bye Bye Blackbird (trad).

The introduction to the next song includes the story of meeting the Beatles during the Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band sessions. John called Micky "Monkee-Man", and knowing John's penchant for sarcastic and biting humour, it may not have been good-natured. Turns out Micky was overdressed in his paisley-tie-dye-Nehru jacket and sandals outfit. The boys were sitting around in jeans and tees, laying down tracks, one of which we get tonight in the powerful version of Oh Darling (Lennon/McCartney).

It's like the show has become a love-in for all the great songwriters of the '60's. Even Leiber and Stoller get a few moments before the band launches into the stage-number D W Washburn (Leiber/Stoller) . Even Micky was surprised to hear this song when he attended a stage performance of Smoky Joes Cafe, a Tony award winning revue filled with classic rhythm 'n blues. Micky's stage experience shines on this peculiar song, it's really his forte, all this rock n roll is just for fun. Unfortunately, the release of this song marked the beginning of the end for the phenomenom that was The Monkees. After 8 #1 songs this was the second consecutive release that failed to scale those heights. Their next single, the ironically titled, It's Nice To Be With You, would be their swan-song from the Top 40 charts. But that's ok, 'cause it was quite a run.

We're still not done thanking the giants on whose shoulders The Monkees stood. Former Kingston Trio, recently deceased John Stewart is remembered through a cover of Davey Jones' Daydream Believer (J Stewart) . Micky tosses in a gratuitous 'short joke' by adjusting the mic stand to knee level before undertaking the song. The audience giggles.

Carole King gets another nod, she created a sh*t-load of great pop songs through the years, with the wonderfully sardonic Pleasant Valley Sunday (Goffin/King) .

A rather loose version of Gimme Some Lovin' (Spencer Davis Group) opens the encore and the show ends, after a brief comment to the kids about Shrek, with the title song of the evening, I'm A Believer (N Diamond) .

All in all, an excellent show. Musically, it rocked, much more than I'd anticipated. The show itself is so well put together with just the proper spacing of hits among the lesser-known songs, a good mix of rock and pop, and a great sense that we're all fortunate to be able to take a couple hours out to tap our feet and remember when life was simple...and so were we.

Complete set list. * designates mp3 download

Track 01 Intro/Monkees Theme (Boyce/Hart)

Track 02 That Was Then, This Is Now (V Brescia)

Track 03 A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You (N Diamond)

*Track 04 She (Boyce/Hart)

Track 05 Words (Boyce/Hart)

Track 06 Sometime In The Morning (Goffin/King)

Track 07 talk - thanks to the great songwriters

*Track 08 Last Train To Clarksville (Boyce/Hart)

Track 09 talk - Monkees audition

Track 10 Johnny B Goode (C Berry)

Track 11 talk - Hendrix opening for The Monkees

Track 12 Purple Haze (J Hendrix)

Track 13 The Girl I Knew Somewhere(M Nesmith)

Track 14 Different Drum (M Nesmith) Vocals by sister Coco

*Track 15 (I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone (Boyce/Hart)

*Track 16 Goin' Down (The Monkees)

Track 17 *White Rabbit (G Slick) Vocals by sister Coco

Track 18 talk - Coco and Micky

Track 19 Bye Bye Blackbird (trad)

Track 20 talk - Meet the Beatles

*Track 21 Oh Darling (Lennon/McCartney)

Track 22 talk - Leiber/Stoller

Track 23 D W Washburn (Leiber/Stoller)

Track 24 Daydream Believer (J Stewart)

Track 25 Pleasant Valley Sunday (Goffin/King)

Track 26 encore

Track 27 Gimme Some Lovin' (Spencer Davis Group)

Track 28 I'm A Believer (N Diamond)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

George Jones
Massey Hall
Toronto ON

My Dad turned 78 last December and back in April Cece and I took him (and his girlfriend) to their FIRST concert! An appropriate choice too as Dad grew up with the likes of Hank Williams providing the soundtrack to his youth.

They seemed to enjoy the whole thing. Of course, Massey Hall's not a bad place to bust your concert cherry.

George Jones ain't as strong as he used to be but at least he showed up. The show had an Opry feel to it, much like the ensemble Loretta Lynn brought through here a couple years ago.

The set list was full of George's best, including a smattering of covers.

(For a more complete review please read between the lines)
"Jones ain't as strong as he used to be" = " couldn't hit a high note if you kicked him in the gonads"
"the show had an Opry feel to it" = "real hokey, with everything from familial-sing-a-longs to hawking George Jones Tennessee Sippin' Water"
"including a smattering of covers" = "arrgghhhh, but no Hank Williams"

Highlight of the evening was the sentimental presentation of "Who's Going To Fill Their Shoes" complete with pictures of all the great traditional country singers splashed across a screen.

Best songs were He Stopped Loving Her Today and the Medley.

My favourite was The Race Is On as it reminded me of a terrific afternoon cruising through the rolling hills of Kentucky and listening to Dave Edmunds' version.

Mp3's, right-click and save.

The Race Is On

Bartenders Blues

Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes?

Medley: The Window Up Above/The Grand Tour/Walk Through This World With Me/She Thinks I Still Care/White Lightning

He Stopped Loving Her Today

George Jones and the Jones Boys (w. Brittany Allen)
Massey Hall
Toronto ON

Disc 1

The Jones Boys

Track 01 Victim of Life's Circumstances (V.Gill)
Track 02 Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line (W. Jennings)
Track 03 I'll Be There (M McBride)
Track 04 I Will Always Love You (D Parton)
Track 05 Whole Lotta Shakin' (J.L.Lewis)

George Jones

Track 06 Why Baby Why
Track 07 Once You've Had the Best
Track 08 The Race Is On
Track 09 Bartenders Blues
Track 10 Choices
Track 11 I Always Get Lucky With you(M Haggard)
Track 12 Black Mountain Rag (instr)
Track 13 I'm Not Ready Yet (T.T.Hall)
Track 14 Sinners and Saints
Track 15 A Picture of Me Without You
Track 16 The Corvette Song
Track 17 Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes?
Track 18 Fiddle Tune(?, instr)

Disc 2

Track 01 Yesterday's Wine (w. Jason Byrd)
Track 02 Me and Jesus (T.T. Hall) (w. Brittany Allen)
Track 03 Same Old Me (F.Lewis?)
Track 04 Take Me (w. Brittany Allen)
Track 05 I'm A One Woman Man
Track 06 Near You (w. Brittany Allen)
Track 07 Fire On The Mountain (instr)
Track 08 Medley: The Window Up Above/The Grand Tour/Walk Through This World With Me/She Thinks I Still Care/White Lightning
Track 09 Band Intro
Track 10 He Stopped Loving Her Today
Track 11 Golden Rings (w. Brittany Allen)
Track 12 I Don't Need Your Rocking Chair (w. Jason Byrd)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Lesley Gore
Oakville Performing Arts Center

The summer concert season is a little slow this year...which is surprising. It's not that the bands aren't out on the road, it's just they're all playing festivals. Short sets. Big crowds. Hours getting in and out of monstrous venues. No chance of decent food. Makes me wonder what I ever liked about them. So I'm gonna fill up some space by revisiting some shows of the past year that didn't make it to the blog.

First up...It's My Party!

Cece and I had a wonderful evening in the old town of Oakville. Took the day off work, beat the storm out there, then got back home during a brief lull in the snow. Just in time to head down to Massey Hall for Finger Eleven and Chevelle.

But first, the show. Lori Cullen (JUNO nominee) one of a rash of female Canadian singers making a splash these days, brought her easy listening jazz stylings to the stage. Not my cup of tea, really, but not horrible. She was helped by the prescence of Kurt Swinghammer on guitar. His playing was a definite highlight. Three interesting covers also helped: Lightfoot's Pussywillows and Cattails,Herb Alpert's This Guy's In Love and Anne Murray's Talk It Over In the Morning.

There were a lot of blue-hairs in the audience. Women outnumbered men by 2:1. People born in the '40's or early outnumbered the rest of us by about the same margin. But what a respectful and attentive crowd. No talking between songs, even though there were periods with relatively obscure material. I don't think they were serving liquor either. Wonder if there's a correlation?

Our seats were awesome, 10 rows back, dead center. Capacity in this small theater is probably 800. My guess is our crowd numbered around 600. Very cozy.

Lesley Gore's just a tiny little thing. She's looking very nice and proving that 60 IS the new 40! Her voice has lost it's 'girlish' quality but what she lacks in giddyness she makes up for in unbridled enjoyment. The mature voice is smoky, reminiscent of Marianne Faithfull in some
ways, but not as edgy. Her newer material ranges from jazzy (Cool Web) to country (Not The First) to torch ballad (Someday), a varied palette. She played all the hits and more than one or two of them sounded better than in the day.

Lesley Gore
Oakville ON

01 She's A Fool
CHUM Chart Position #8, 14 weeks on the chart 1963
02 Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows
CHUM Chart Position #8, 9 weeks on the chart 1965
03 talk - Classic Songs
04 Ever Since
05 talk - Jersey Girl, American Bandstand & Quincy Jones
06 Judy's Turn To Cry
CHUM Chart Position #5, 10 weeks on the chart 1963
07 Not The First
08 Cool Web
09 Maybe I Know
CHUM Chart Position #14, 8 weeks on the chart 1964
10 It's Gone (from Flannel Pajamas soundtrack)
11 Words We Don't Say (featured on The L Word)
12 Look of Love
CHUM Chart Position #40, 3 weeks on the chart 1965
13 Better Angels (featured on CSI:Miami)
14 talk - Pink House & the Piano
15 Out Here On My Own (from Fame)
16 California Nights
CHUM Chart Position # 16, 7 weeks on the chart 1967
17 Someday
18 It's My Party (and I'll Cry If I Want To)
CHUM Chart Position # 1, 13 weeks on the chart 1963
19 You Don't Own Me (and Band Intro)
CHUM Chart Position # 5, 13 weeks on the chart 1964
20 encore break and Mom's B'Day talk
21 We Went So High

Some mp3's, just 'right-click' and SAVE:

Judy's Turn To Cry

Not The First


It's My Party (and I'll Cry If I Want To)

You Don't Own Me