It was a snowy, slippery drive Friday evening to get to the Molson Centre in Barrie, you know, typical Canadian winter driving. But that is kind of appropriate considering iconic Canadian group Blue Rodeo was performing. It was the 1000 Arms Tour, supporting the newest album of the same name. The weather certainly didn’t slow down the fans either as the arena was full up for this one. I’ve been a fan of Blue Rodeo since they started. The first time I saw them was in Toronto at The Diamond Club. Now, some of you may need to look that up, because the Diamond has been called The Phoenix Concert Theatre for 25 years now. I know, I’m dating myself, but the point is these guys have been making great music and entertaining the masses for a lot of years and they are still going strong. You don’t get a star on Canada’s Walk Of Fame, inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, or receive the Order Of Canada without having some serious chops. That’s longevity!
So here’s how the night went down: the show kicked of with The Sadies and they did a bang up job of warming up the crowd. They played a solid set of about 35 minutes and were extremely well received. They have a very unique sound. Kind of like rockabilly countrified rock. And it’s cool. Great look too, with big hollow body guitars, upright bass, and a nice collection of vintage amplifiers. These guys can play and play fast. Some real quick pickin’ and great for opening up on this tour. Here’s a couple of shots of The Sadies.
After a really quick stage change over, Blue Rodeo came on and it was all business as usual for them. Nothing big and splashy. No pyrotechnics for a show like this. Just a great clean stage set, pure crisp sound, really amazing lighting and then the band. They just let they’re music do the talking. They have such a large song library to choose from so they really couldn’t go too wrong with their set list. They didn’t make one wrong step. Starting off with Heart Like Mine they got the evening started. And it was just one great Blue Rodeo song after another. Rose Coloured Glasses, Diamond Mine, and I love the new 1000 Arms. Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor sharing stories with the crowd and sharing the microphone – and well, the rest was pure Canadiana Magic. They have such a nice big rich sound, and that is owing to the fact that they have 3 guitars, drums, bass, keys, and a steel pedal/fiddle player.
It was a fantastic show that had the Molson Centre crowd captivated throughout. Of course with all the many favorites that the band has, big cheers would go up from the crowd with regularity. And there was plenty of singing along as well. I really can’t think of any favourite parts to this show because I enjoyed it in its entirety. And after the show when I walked out to my car, just like any normal Canadian winter night, I scraped some ice from my windshield, turned on the heater, and drove home down Highway 400 listening to more Blue Rodeo and relaying the show in my mind. And I remembers when we all got Lost Together.
Scott Burns, Tour Bus Entertainment, Scott Burns Images