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CSNY, Clapton, Raitt, etc in Ottawa


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Pop-rock bonanza

After a fairly quiet start to the concert year, when it seemed that more shows were cancelled than announced, the rest of 2006 is finally beginning to take shape.

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young play Scotiabank Place on July 8, while Elton John, Eric Clapton and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are also expected to stop in Ottawa in the coming months.

What's more, Bluesfest is announcing its lineup tomorrow, with a mainstage marquee believed to include blues queen Bonnie Raitt, Great Big Sea, Blue Rodeo, Etta James and the U.S. band Live. The festival runs from July 7 to 16 on the grounds of Ottawa City Hall.

For Raitt, her July 8 appearance will be a first for Bluesfest, but now it may be overshadowed by CSNY at Scotiabank Place the same night.

News of Neil Young rejoining his 1960s compatriots David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash will surprise fans, who have been half expecting the Canadian rock legend to mount an acoustic tour to promote last year's album, Prairie Wind. Instead, the CSNY reunion tour, billed as Freedom of Speech '06, is likely to turn into an anti-war crusade. Not only is CSNY famous for some of the most potent anti-war songs of the '60s, but Young has also written a new disc, Living With War, full of songs inspired by his disgust for the policies of U.S. President George W. Bush.

It seems that Young, who is 60, had a burst of creativity and made the disc in two weeks this month. He recorded the bulk of it with a power trio, accompanied by trumpet and a 100-voice gospel choir. On his website, Young describes it as a "metal version of Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan," and suggests that it could be categorized as "metal folk protest" music. Starting Friday, fans can listen to the new songs stream at www.neilyoung.com .

Young has not been to Canada with Crosby, Stills and Nash since 2001, a year after their first reunion tour in 26 years. Neither journey stopped in Ottawa.

Meanwhile, Elton John is taking his Red Piano production on the road this summer and fall, with stadium dates expected in Ottawa and Toronto in early November.

The Red Piano was created to showcase the songs of John and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin. It debuted in 2004 at The Colosseum at Caesar's Palace, the Las Vegas theatre originally designed for Celine Dion's long-running show.

As for Eric Clapton, the guitar god who reunited last year with his blues-rock power trio, Cream, he's tentatively scheduled to play Scotiabank Place in late September. So far, Clapton has confirmed spring and summer dates in Europe, including seven nights at London's Royal Albert Hall next month.

Details are sketchy, but reports say he will be touring with Derek Trucks, the 26-year-old slide guitarist who grew up in the Allman Brothers' extended musical family and has an intimate knowledge of Clapton's Derek and the Dominoes era, his collaboration with the late slide player Duane Allman.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are also expected to land at Scotiabank Place in September. The California band is gearing up for a world tour to kick off its new Rick Rubin-produced double album, Stadium Arcadium, due for release May 8 and likely to be a summer blockbuster. The band will spend spring and early summer in Europe, then will tour North America, including at least nine Canadian cities. After a sold-out 2003 performance in Ottawa, a return appearance is practically guaranteed.

Tickets for CSNY go on sale in early May; sale dates for other concerts will be announced as they are confirmed.

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ooo! i've missed the CSNY shows for the past couple tours. and with neil, sweeeeet!

i can't stand scotiabank place [as a name or a venue, blechhh] but i'll go for this. :)

edit to add: who wants to mount a campaign against all these crappy corporate names for stadiums? haaaaaaaaaate it.

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Poor Bonnie Raitt, her gigs in both Ottawa and in Toronto will be overshadowed by CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG.

Poor Bonnie Raitt, legendary singer with guitar talent oozing off her and creating a talent-slime behind where she walks in a never ending trail of sexy singing and scorching guitar. Poor poor her. :)

But you're right Tim, that's a shame they're booked on the same night in separate venues.


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Attention, all law enforcement in the region:

I realize many of you have become cynical about the all-points bulletins issued for dangerous criminals. I'm sure you think they're essentially all the same and that only the names have changed. But I urge you to pay close attention in your pursuit of Mr. Jon Bon Jovi. He's wanted. Wanted dead or live.

Who is Bon Jovi? Well, to begin with, he's a cowboy. Granted, it's fairly routine for cowboys to run afoul of the law, especially in the winter, when the work and money dry up and they've got time on their hands. Plenty of petty-theft and lewd-behavior calls. But that's not what we're up against. Bon Jovi is no regular cowboy. He rides a horse made of steel. A steel horse. I am not shitting you. And don't think this is some sort of comical clunky robot horse with whimsical hydraulic sound effects and extraneous flashing lights. This thing is exactly like a Thoroughbred, only much larger and made from an incredibly resilient alloy. Bullets can't even penetrate this horse, much less stop it. Bon Jovi is also armed with a loaded six-string that he carries on his back. Reports differ on whether he uses it as a sort of crossbow or whether it's actually a guitar that he plays with such shocking mastery as to render victims helpless. Regardless, take heed.

There is other information I need to share with you about Bon Jovi. And no matter how callous you think you are to the attributes of criminals, you may want to brace yourself. Bon Jovi has almost superhuman abilities. Sure, sometimes he sleeps, but sometimes he can go for days without doing so. Days! To compensate for this interruption in his circadian rhythms, Bon Jovi has evidently crafted some sort of alcohol-based calendar, where he can actually tell the day by the bottle that he drinks. Additionally, he's been known to drive all night just to get back home (his house has an adjoining cybertronic-horse barn), so we're casting a pretty wide net. Also, according to intelligence we've gathered, sometimes when he's alone, all he does is think. That's not a criminal act, mind you, but good to know.

So why are we looking for Bon Jovi? Why is he wanted, wanted dead or alive? A spree of face rocking. Estimates vary as to how many faces have been targeted—some say 800,000, some say 1.2 million—but it is accepted as a fact that he has rocked every single face he has seen. Every one of them. We're not even clear on a motive for this mass face rocking, although there are reports of Bon Jovi complaining of faces that "are so cold." Will he stop at a million faces? How many will be enough? We can't afford to find out.

Now all this being said, if you should come in contact with Bon Jovi, do not look into his face. He will only rock it. And call for backup immediately. Bear in mind, the man has been everywhere, he stands tall, and he rides a steel horse.

Good luck to you all. At this point, I have to be honest, we're living on a prayer.


Sgt. H. Locklear

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I always wondered about guys who liked Bon Jovi. Made me kinda suspicious. Not of being gay or anything. Just suspicious about what, exactly, made them think that was ok.

"Stevie Ray Vaughn is dead and we can't get Jon Bon Jovi in a helicopter? 'go on Jon, there's a hairdresser in there..'"

-- Denis Leary

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