Sunday, March 27, 2011

Randy Newman
Convocation Hall
Toronto, ON

It's been almost 5 years since we last sat down for songs and stories with Randy Newman. I figured that it would be much the same songs with the possible addition of his recent Oscar winning We Belong Together. On that note...I was wrong. No pandering to the masses. The recent Oscar winner was nowhere to be heard. Got 7 different songs so it was mixed up pretty good. The big surprise was that I went to see a singer-songwriter and a piano recital broke out. Last time I saw this show I was totally focussed on the songs. Tonight it was the piano that shone through.

Convocation Hall, a unique venue that serves as a lecture hall most of the time, was less than 2/3 filled, about 800 in the audience if you count two for everyone over 250 lbs. and subtract one for all the short people. A shame really. In I'm Dead (But I Don't Know It) Randy talks of the plight of new acts trying to break into the concert circuit when old guys in walkers are still doing shows. Add to that the difficulty of seeing lots of shows when the dinosaurs doing arena concerts are asking upwards of $200 per seat. Randy's audience is being targeted by the likes of Leonard Cohen, ($250), Neil Young ($200+), Paul Simon ($180) and all the other industry darlings that can still by hyped to fill a field. (Not to disparage the quality of the shows those artists are doing, it's just that they've lost touch with their bohemian roots to say the least.)

Good comedy from the stage as well. The great line about boys; "A friend of mine, he lives close to here, had 3 boys and then a daughter. He says if he had had the girl first he would have thought the boys were retarded...girls don't eat much mud..." Observations about the music industry; "...I didn't work for Josef Stalin, I worked for guys like Josef Stalin..." And a self-awareness that a superb catalogue and wealth of talent does not necessarily fill the seats; "Thanks for coming should have brought some fucking friends..." The latter said in a humurous, not bitchy, way.

On a side note, between sets I had the priviledge of talking to our former provincial NDP Premier, currently second in command of the Federal Liberal Party, Bob Rae. I canvassed for Bob in the Broadview-Greenwood riding back in the '70's before his silk-stocking socialist phase. My dad cut his hair from the time he was in university, living around the corner, through to his stint as Premier and my dad's retirement. He should be leading the Liberals, and I predict he'll be our next Liberal Prime Minister, unfortunately that means we'll have to endure 5 years of Stephen Harper.

Set 1

T01 It's Money That I Love
T02 *Laugh and Be Happy
T03 Living Without You
T04 Short People
T05 Birmingham
T06 Marie
T07 Talk - composer of the century
T08 Girls In My Life Pt.1
T09 Talk - 4 boys and a daughter
T10 The World Isn't Fair
T11 Leave Your Hat On
T12 I Miss You
T13 Great Nations of Europe
T14 Harps and Angels
T15 Talk and Training
T16 I'm Dead (But I Don't Know It)
T17 You've Got A Friend In Me
T18 Political Science

Set 2

T01 Last Night I Had A Dream
T02 *Yellow Man
T03 In Germany Before the War
T04 Baltimore
T05 My Life Is Good
T06 Emotional Girl
T07 Land of Dreams
T08 Louisiana (1927)
T09 *Rollin'
T10 Talk - Albanian Wedding Song
T11 *Wedding in Cherokee County
T12 Mama Told Me Not To Come
T13 Guilty
T14 I Love LA
T15 *Bad News From Home
T16 Losing You
T17 Red Bandana
T18 *Burn On
T19 Feels Like Home
T20 audience
T21 *Lonely At The Top
T22 I Think It's Gonna Rain
*not played in 2006

not played in 2011

In Defence of My Country
Sail Away
Dixie Flyer
Shame Shame Shame

No comments: