When given the opportunity to shoot photos and review a Blue Rodeo show recently in London ON, I couldn’t turn down the chance to catch these Canadian music icons in action. I have been a fan of Blue Rodeo since I was a child, growing up with their folk rock sound that so many recognize when heard.
Opening the show was The Strumbellas. I had never heard of them before and wasn’t sure what to expect from them. As soon as they hit the stage I felt the energetic folk pop vibe they brought and the crowd really seemed to be into it as well. They had a short set and I was only able to catch part of it, but from what I heard The Strumbellas have a great sound.
I would love to catch them at an outdoor music festival this summer where I could sit in the sun and enjoy their full set. I don’t think I was alone judging by the crowd’s appreciation of their performance. For more cool stuff from The Strumbellas, make sure you stop by their website at www.thestrumbellas.ca or check them out on Twitter or Facebook.
After a short break the lights when to a dull red and as soon as the crowd got a view of the Toronto boys, they erupted in applause and cheers. Blue Rodeo opened the show up with “Trust Yourself”, off their 1990 album, Casino. From that moment on, they kept rolling out the hits. The crowd could be heard singing along through the entire show to their favorites and there are a lot of crowd favorites that these guys have amassed over the past three decades.
At one point during a break in between songs, someone from the crowd yelled out, “How about them Leafs Jim?”. Cuddy smirked and made the statement, “We better get on with the music.”. The RBC theatre erupted with a roar of laughter and back to the hits the boys of Blue Rodeo went. There was a number of new songs mixed into the set along the way. One that jumps out, and seemed to be a crowd favorite, was, “A Thousand Arms”. As explained, it is about a woman with a mental illness that moves to California and opens a coffee shop in San Francisco. The song talks about the quirks that made the coffee shop unique and that when the women loses herself, there are always people there to remind her of who she is.
Blue Rodeo then slowed it down with the guys taking seats on the stage and getting intimate with the crowd. They began a great set of classics which I, personally, considered a highlight of the show. When the band left the stage we knew there had to be more and the crowd didn’t stop with their appreciation until an encore set was brought back to the stage. The band definitely didn’t disappoint, closing out the night with, “Lost Together”.
If you get the chance to catch Blue Rodeo on the road this year, I highly recommend catching the show. It’s an intimate night with an iconic Canadian band. To check for dates near you and more great things from the band check out their website at www.bluerodeo.ca.
Bill Woodcock / @BillWoodcock