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Levon Helm's Ramble/John Hiatt and His Combo at Massey Hall - June 29


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Will the dust from g20 be settled in time for this show? I'm thinking yes, but really don't know. Any ideas? Just wanting to make sure that we leave ourselves plenty of time just in case.

I am SOOOO looking forward to this one!!!

I can't believe I've never seen Levon before.

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Yeah it was a nice night for sure.

Seeing Levon was definitely on my bucket list so it was nice to fulfill that.

I was pretty exhausted going into it so by the end I was feeling pretty sapped.

John Hiatt was okay. He had some great moments, but lots of cheesy ones too. But he's certainly enjoying himself up there which is always appreciated.

Levon had a full band. Brass section, two guitarists, stand up bass, keys, two female vocalists (including his daughter). Nice full sound. I thought his daughter was great...cute, infectious little energy about her, and sweet vocals.

Levon did a great job of pacing himself. He's definitely looking a little frail, which I was expecting, but his smile is sure contagious. When he busted it down at centre stage it was pure gold!

He sang, but only sporadically throughout the night. Lots of passing off to others to hold down the vocals. So while the quantity of songs he sang was somewhat low (maybe five songs?) the quality sure was there, so I think he made the right trade-off. At the end he closed with I Shall Be Released which was beautiful and fitting.

I was surprised at how little was played off his last two solo albums. In fact (correct me if I'm wrong) other than the Tennessee Jed cover I don't think they played anything off either album which I will admit I was a little dissapointed about. There's some gems that I would have loved to hear. But all and all I enjoyed the song selection. Lots of familiars (e.g. Deep Elem, Ophelia, Makes No Difference, The Weight, Chest Fever, etc)

Truthfully I would have expected the one guitar player who did some singing throughout to have slightly better chops, but it was decent.

All in all definitely memorable to be in Levon's presence. I suspect a trip down to Woodstock would be the perfect space to see him at his best. Maybe in the fall (livingstoned I'm winking at you)!

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Hey! Not much time to add to this but wanted to check in to say that this was an excellent night of music. I was suprised too with the very small amount of songs off of Dirt Farmer. I'm not very familiar with Electric Dirt thus far, so not sure about what was played from it (except Jed). Levon's 12-piece band (5 piece brass) was a treat.

Songs I can recall:

Tennessee Jed

Deep Elem Blues (with Levon on mando, hamming it up at centre stage, did a jig, humped his mandolin kinda)

Ophelia

Look Out, Cleveland

Chest Fever (Larry Campbell with a great job doing Genetic Method on guitar)

The Weight (with John Hiatt)

E: I Shall Be Released (w/ Hiatt)

Levon commented a few times: "It's great to be here in TO!!!" which always got the crowd going. Also something along the lines of "It's about time, not since 195__!" (can't remember what year he said).

That's it for now.

PS - I really enjoyed John Hiatt!

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I think he said 1959...which I found hard to believe!!

Definitely hard to believe! He played 2 nights at The Silver Dollar Room 5 or 6 years ago or so.

Think he meant Massey Hall....as in waiting since 1959 to play there.

livingstoned I'm winking at you

Yes, so there! Let the planning begin!

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