Last Friday, I attended my first Blue Rodeo concert in 11 years. I wasn't planning on going but then I saw that Kathleen Edwards was opening for them and that sealed the deal. Ms. Edwards is one of my favorites and I have wanted to see her live for a long time. The venue was Malkin Bowl in
I showed up an hour early and felt like a knob as I was the first in line for a concert in which I had a reserved seat. My keenness paid off however as the lovely Ms. Edwards stepped outside the gate about 10 minutes before the gates were open. There she was, less than 3 feet away from me. I had a "Have Mercy" moment and all I could do is let out this really lame "whoa". She seemed not to hear - heck, I would have ignored that kind of greeting as well, but I was on cloud 9 the rest of the evening.
Kathleen Edwards took the stage early and did a set of about 10 songs accompanied by a guitarist and keyboard player. A full band would have been a better compliment to her sound, but whatever. The crowd was very laid-back even for
Blue Rodeo's set started magically as a bird dropped "one" on Jim Cuddy's shoulder and ear. What a beginning! Whether or not you like Blue Rodeo's country influenced sound, which I love, you have to give props to the band for amazing live performances. As a band, they are tight and they improv like crazy. Some of their tunes like Diamond Mine lasted well over 15 minutes longer than their recorded version. The playlist was heavy on their signature tunes from early albums such as Til I Am Myself Again, 5 Days in May, Lost Together, After the Rain, etc. I wished they had played some more recent tunes and Jim Cuddy had balladeered more, but they didn't consult me before the show. Highlights of their set were Kathleen Edwards joining in on Bad Timing and the shocker join-in of Barney Bentall on a song from his upcoming album. Stellar evening.
Tip: You can see the stage from outside the gates to Malkin Bowl, so if you ever want to see a show from afar, bring a picnic and enjoy the shows for free. Blue Rodeo, Sarah Harmer, Sam Roberts, and Ben Harper were among this summer's lineup.
Blue Rodeo Radio - all Blue Rodeo, all the time
Kathleen Edwards - great photo section