Monday, June 25, 2007

A Painter Passing Through

A Painter Passing Through.

That was the title of Gordon Lightfoot's penultimate album, a 1998 release that didn't really do anything for me. It was also the name of about the fifth song he played last night, and the first tune that I couldn't name within the first three notes. It was a lot better live.

"A Painter Passing Through" is an obviously autobiographical song about getting old and being past his prime. It has a certain poignancy live that you just can't catch in a studio album. Gord's voice isn't what it once was. The richness at the low end of the register is gone. And while that's not a good thing, it isn't all bad either. After listening to a few songs, I was reminded of a description Kurt Vonnegut wrote in The Sirens of Titan:

But Beatrice did have a face — and an interesting one. It could be said that she looked like a bucktoothed Indian brave. But anyone who said that would have to add quickly that she looked marvelous. Her face, like the face of Malachi Constant, was a one-of-a-kind, a surprising variation on a familiar theme — a variation that made observers think, Yes — that would be another very nice way for people to look.

And that's sort of what I thought about Gord's voice. It's not the voice he once had, but it's another very nice way for people to sound.

And the band was fantastic.


I don't remember the last time heard a band with such a tight sound live. If there was a last time.

All in all, a very good show. Well worth the time, the money, and the drive to and from Houston.

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Blogger Susan in St. Paul said...

set list?

Glad it was worthwhile.

Monday, June 25, 2007 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

To paraphrase your comment on my Tone Loc review:

Great review! I'm sorry I missed it.

Monday, June 25, 2007 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Sorry, Susan, but I didn't take notes, so I don't have the detail that I'd like.

I'm pretty sure I remember hearing all of the following (although not necessarily in this order), and I'm at least as sure that I've left some out:

Ribbon of Darkness
Rainy Day People
Cotton Jenny
A Painter Passing Through
The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald
Alberta Bound
Don Quixote
Canadian Railroad Trilogy
Baby Step Back
Encore: Old Dan’s Records

He did two sets of about 45 minutes each, with a 15 minute or so intermission in between.

Monday, June 25, 2007 12:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Dennis said...

I saw Gordon Lightfoot in May of this year. I cannot reccomend his concerts to others as you have.

I'll agree with your assessment of the band- very good. they were a tight combo and you could tell the knew their stuff and did it well.

Unfortunately, I disagree with you on gordon's voice. I think it has lost too much and did not sound very good at all- although it did sound better with the songs written after his medical problems. I am a bigger fan of his early works and did not care for his voice on them.

Believe me I hate not having much of anything positive to say about Gordon Lightfoot's vocal performance. I am not trying to be negative- just truthful in my opinion.


Monday, June 25, 2007 1:57:00 PM  
Blogger Beguile_Me said...

I was just wondering how it went. I am sure we would have loved it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 2:12:00 AM  

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