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Gordon Lightfoot 11/28/04 review and setlist


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I didn't want to make this post before people on this site attended the second Gordon Lightfoot show yesterday (11/29).

First off I think Gordon Lightfoot is a legend. Not just a legend in Canada but the world as well. How many people can say they've had one of their songs covered by both Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan? Not too many.

That being said I saw Lightfoot perform twice before in 1998 and 1999 each at Massey Hall. At the time he was performing 30 and 29 songs respectively with a set break. The crowds were easily the oldest for the gigs that I attend. Including blues artists like B.B. King, Buddy Guy as well as others. I'm guessing based on age the crowds were dead quiet. Also the volume of music on stage was far too quiet as well.

After my second Lightfoot show in 1999 I decided that was going to be my last. Then in 2001 Lightfoot nearly died and it has taken until now for him to headline a concert.

I figured it being Gordon's first show back, that it was a "Concert Dedicated to Hamilton Health Sciences" and that the show was a five minute walk from my place I would give Lightfoot another go.

Nothing has changed and it has only gotten worse. The crowd was better, most likely because people recognized the significance of the night. Also the it was nice how much Lightfoot thanked the medical staff that was in attendance, he often even joked about it.

The volume levels were so low that an elderly gentleman's breathing beside me was distracting! Come on that shouldn't happen. I've seen Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Cockburn and Steve Earle solo acoustic and comparing their volume levels to Lightfoot's would make theirs like a Who concert.

Lightfoot's actual performance was competent and on par with the shows I saw in 1998-99. Though instead of seeing Gord perform thirty songs he performed eighteen. Which meant as a headlining act it was the shortest in time concert I've ever attended coming in at one hour and twelve minutes.

It was nice to hear "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," "Sundown" and "Early Morning Rain" again. Also Lightfoot debuted my favorite song off of "Harmony" titled "River of Light." And I had never heard "Minstrel of the Dawn" and "Christian Island." But if he can't make a ninety minute show (I feel it is the unwritten rule that a headliner must at least hit), he shouldn't be performing headlining concerts yet.

I'm going to pass Lightfoot by when he comes around again to Massey Hall or anywhere else for that matter. If he's opening for Bob Dylan or someone else that I don't miss I'll be happy to see him again or if he's apart of a folk festival that I happen to be at. But otherwise I will not be spending my money to have Lightfoot's name on a ticket.

I will continue to love Lightfoot's music, I just think he has lost it as a live performer.

Here's the setlist from the Sunday November 28 concert.

Start time 8:34PM

1. Spanish Moss

2. Let It Ride

3. Minstrel of the Dawn

4. Rainy Day People

5. In My Fashion

6. Harmony

7. Triangle

8. River of Light

9. Cotton Jenny

10. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

11. Sundown

12. Clouds of Loneliness

13. Sit Down Young Stranger

14. Christian Island

15. Couchiching

16. If You Could Read My Mind

17. Old Dan's Records

Encore 18. Early Mornin' Rain

Show ends 9:47PM (Total time 1 hour and 12 minutes)

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I went last night,not the same setlist which was good.

It was my 10th Gord show in my life,great show,although they could have turned the vocals up abit,can't say I have ever heard a more quiet show at Hamilton place (I've seen alot there too),but I am looking forward to the 3 night run in march at Massey hall.

Thanks for the setlist & review Tim.

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Nothing has changed and it has only gottne worse.

I disagree.

For a guy who almost passed on I think he's doing really well,talking alot more to the crowd,making jokes,laughing,totally unlike his performace in 98 there thats for sure,he was alot more animated,but with his health still being tried it only makes sense to me that he played such a short set,also when he has an opening act his set is always short.

The Massey Hall shows will be alot better,always are.

Won't catch me missing any of those thats for sure.

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I was at this show with my parents, who are both old Lightfoot fans and this was sort of a final treat for me before I head out West on Thursday. We had great seats -- 7th row centre.. Jim Cuddy was sitting just in front of me and a few to the left. I'm embarassed to say that I couldn't name 5 Lightfoot songs if I tried, though I do understand his significance as a Canadian folk music icon. The Good Brothers opened, which was really a delight! I'd never seen them before, and thought they put on a fairly strong performance. They had a guest mandolin player whose name I can't remember, but he was a founding member of Prarie Oyster and he had this great big hilarious grin on his face the entire time. They covered "Alberta Bound" for their final tune.

Lightfoot, what can I say? He looked tired, old, as if he had almost died fairly recently. I presume his voice was much stronger years ago. I didn't understand what he was saying in several of his between-song rambles. He seems to be a litle bit timid up there. But he kept up on the guitar and held his own throughout the show. I agree Timmy, the volume was down way too low. Given that I had free tickets, I am definitely glad that I went and was able to see this Canadian legend while I still could.

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Hey Greg and anyone else who was at the Gordon Lightfoot concert on Monday here's the setlist.

I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't have wanted to see Lightfoot perform "All the Lovely Ladies" and "Bitter Green."

1. All the Lovely Ladies

2. Spanish Moss

3. Let it Ride

4. Minstrel of the Dawn

5. Rainy Day People

6. In my Fashion

7. Harmony

8. Triangle

9. Cotton jenny

10. Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

11. Sundown

12. If you could Read my Mind

13. Clouds of Loneliness

14. Bitter Green

15. On the High Seas

16. Old Dan's Records

17. Early Morning Rain (Encore)

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