When you think of some of the greatest songwriters/storytellers/artist Canada has to offer, we have a pretty long impressive list. Songwriters like Gordon Lightfoot, Gord Downie, Burton Cummings and Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor, of Blue Rodeo.
Almost 30 years since the release of their first album, “Outskirts” they have their 15th full-length studio release of “1000 Arms” with Warner Music Canada and Blue Rodeo are back on the road telling more stories and playing more music. They stopped in Kingston ON at the K-Rock Center February 9, 2017 performing to a large crowd of eager and energetic fans.
They played some of their new songs off the album like “Superstar,” “Dust to gold” and the title track “1000 Arms”. The song is about a woman suffering from a health issue. The community comes together to take care of her, to help guide her when she begins to fall, taking her back to the coffee shop. It is very moving and powerful song. A tribute mirroring that of Canada’s support for Gord Downie, of the Tragically Hip, who was diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer last year. Blue Rodeo and the “Hip” have a long time relationship, going back 30 years, and the love and respect was felt, especially within the walls of 1 Tragically Hip Way.
About half way through the show, they finally said what everyone was wanting to hear, “Come on up here and dance if you want to, I know you’re wanting to.” and the front of the stage was filled up with dancing and cheers. Nobody was sitting anymore. They started to play some of their chart hits songs such as “Till I am myself Again”, “After the Rain”, and of course “Try”
What was a real credit to the group was when Cuddy and Keelor came to the front of the stage with just their guitars. No mics, no back up music, and started to play the intro to “Hasn’t Hit me Yet” and the audience knew just what to do. They sang the song for them. Not just a part of the course, First verse, course, word for word, louder and louder. It really gives you the sense of how loved the music is when without prompt or anyone on the mic to help them along with the words, the crowd just knows, leaving “me feeling, so stoned” in a large group yell.
The night ended with the Sadies being asked to join them on stage. It was a very cold night outside, but inside the K-Rock to the large crowd, it was HOT!
They are one of a kind. They are the one and only, Canada Proud Blue Rodeo. Blue Rodeo wraps up the Ontario leg of their 1000 Arms tour in Ottawa next weekend with back to back shows at The National Arts Centre before heading out to the east coast. For information on the tour and where to buy tickets visit tour.bluerodeo.com