This past Wednesday night Calgary native JJ Shiplett rolled into Toronto to headline a show in the heart of the city at the Rivoli on Queen St. It’s been awhile since the last time I was at the venue but really couldn’t think of a better place for a show like this.
The evening kicked off with Toronto’s Sam Cash who is usually flanked with his band the Romantic Dogs but this was a solo performance and he did a great job getting the night started. I am a sucker for a guy a guitar (or two) and a story and Sam delivered that in fine form on Wednesday night. Stopping to tell the odd story between swapping out acoustic to electric and back again. He paid homage to Gord Downie talking about having the chance to grow up around Mr. Downie from a young age and the inspiration that he was to Canadians. He played an incredible cover of Gord’s Chancellor off the Coke Machine Glow album that left me with goosebumps. Sam was the perfect fit to get things started.
After a short break, the man from Calgary took the stage to a packed Rivoli and the crowd was happy to see JJ Shiplett. JJ commented early in the show that he had played a few times in Toronto in the past but nowhere to the size of crowd that was in attendance on this night. There were a few songs I was eager to hear live from JJ and he did not disappoint. The first was the new single Always For You which sounded amazing and of course a fan favourite likely at most shows Something To Believe In.
Shiplett really knows how to deliver a song. His cover of Bruce Springsteen’s I’m On Fire may have been my favourite moment of the night. Just something about his voice that draws you in and allows you to feel the music rather than just hear it. I’m a true fan of great singer songwriters and JJ Shiplett has the package my friends. If you haven’t had a chance to catch Mr. Shiplett let’s hope he jumps on board with another cross Canada tour in 2018.
Corey Kelly / @CoreyKelly76
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