August 27, 2010

BLUE RODEO LIVE @ the Molson Amphitheatre AUGUST 26th 2010

I can always claim that my first concert ever was a Blue Rodeo show when I was about four years old. Even back then they were my favorite band. Sharon, Lois, and Bram had nothing on Blue Rodeo. I’ve always felt some sort of connection to their music. It just feels like home – reminds me of everything I love. Maybe it’s because they formed in the year I was born (1984 baby) and both my mom and I have owned and/or played every one of their releases since their 1987 debut “Outskirts”.

Maybe it’s just because they are just that damn good. They are one of Canada’s most successful and lasting bands; with 12 studio albums, 3 live recordings, and a greatest hits package. The band isn’t riding on nostalgia either – their latest release, 2009’s “The Things We Left Behind” is one of their best albums. It is both haunting and beautiful with songs crafted to remain in your head for days; but they don’t sacrifice good writing for the sake of a pop song – these songs actually mean something.

In a world of disposable computer pop music; it is really wonderful to see a real band like Blue Rodeo live. This is about my 9th time seeing them; and yes - I do count that first time when I was four years old.

Opening with some lesser known gems the band started into their set and was greeted with a warm response from their hometown crowd. One thing with Blue Rodeo concerts has always been their unpredictability. I’ve liked nearly every Blue Rodeo song I’ve ever heard – but not every song they write is going to be a hit. Some shows, the band delves deep into their expansive catalogue and others they stick to the radio friendly picks for the casual fan. Last night’s show was a great mix of both! They played new their new hits “Don’t let the darkness in your head” and “All the things that are left behind”; a few forgotten gems; and of course classics like “Try”, “Diamond Mine” (my personal favorite since I was only 8 years old), “Trust Yourself”, “Heart Like Mine”, and “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet”.

I could go on forever with that list. The hits kept coming. After more than 25 years of playing some of those songs the band still plays them with the same enthusiasm they had when I saw them play so many years ago. It’s always really wonderful to see a band that actually loves their music as much as the fans do. Jim Cuddy (one half of the vocal duo – the other being Greg Keelor) said before their encore “We do have fun, don’t we?” The crowd roared its appreciation.

I wished it could last forever – I always do – but the show did have to come to an end eventually. They closed with a truly heartfelt classic “Lost Together”. With my lady on my arm, the truth rings eternal in that chorus. “If we’re lost – then we are lost together”. What a beautiful lyric to end such a beautiful night. I cannot wait to welcome them back next year and we’ll all get lost together in the music like we do every year.

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