Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gavin Rossdale
Danforth Music Hall

OK the only reason I'm at the Gavin Rossdale show is to treat my 25 year old daughter and her cousin. We had a blast at the NKOTB show last fall so it's worth another kick at their nostalgia can. First time we saw Gavin was back in the mid-90's and we were lucky to get a seat against the back wall of Maple Leaf Gardens. Not so much demand this time around. The Danforth Music Hall is one of the two best venues in Toronto. Go there if you get a chance.

Opening tonight is Suzie McNeil, quarter finalist in that INXS replacement reality show. That alone was enough to keep me away but my daughter insisted she could rock and, at the very least, was eye-candy. Right on both counts. Her 35 minute opening set was a lively display of a young woman who can kick it. Great pacing and a stage-presence beyond her years. It's always a bonus when the opener doesn't have you rushing for the beer queue.

Gavin's still bringing it too. A much smaller stage but no less commitment to the show than when he was riding the wave of popularity in the late-90's. The new songs, from Wanderlust, have as much punch as his early material, a slightly more worldly, less angry, version of his young self.

He does a great job of balancing the new with the old, not making the audience wait too long for their nostalgia fix as he rolls out a thunderous Machinehead in the third slot. Even when he slows it down, for an acoustic portion, his cover of Fleetwood Mac's Landslide demands attention, perhaps the vocal highlight of the evening.

A bit of a treat in the encore with a solo-electric version of Glycerine.

Here's the full set list and some samples.

Disc 1

T01 Can't Stop the World
T02 Frontline
T03 Machinehead
T04 Boom Box
T05 Everything Zen
T06 Trouble I'm In
T07 Forever May You Run
T08 Landslide (Fleetwood Mac)
T09 Love Remains the Same
T10 Fugitive
T11 Adrenaline
T12 The People That We Love
T13 audience/talk

Disc 2
T01 Bullet-Proof Skin
T02 This Is Happiness
T03 Glycerine
T04 Come Down

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