A couple weeks back I posted a review on Florida Georgia Line in Kingston and how Friday nights may never be the same. Well last night walking into Massey Hall in Toronto there was just this feeling of something special hanging in the air. It had been a tough week for my family with losing my wife’s mother to a long struggle with cancer and not having my amazing wife by my side was already tugging at the heart strings. For those of you that read my Interview with Tom you will know my wife is a pretty big fan of Mr. Cochrane and not having her with me already put a damper on the night, but with her amazing heart she insisted I go. So I went.
The night started with a short but very powerful set by Jessica Mitchell. I have to admit walking into the “Great Hall” the only thing I knew of Jessica was that she had written a track with Todd Clark for Tim Hicks 5:01 album called Ready to Say Goodnight, which Tim recorded with Madeline Merlo. But honing her writing skills the last 10+ years between Toronto and Nashville have done this artist a world of good.
It was the mesmerizing sound of Jessica’s voice and fantastic stories she was telling with each song that kept the audience riveted. The highlight of her set for me was the third song she performed. Embarrassingly, I cannot recall the name of it. However, I do recall that she had brought out her guitarist for this particular song that had a strong vocal and kept me entranced throughout. If you haven’t already had a chance to listen to any of Jessica’s music just look at the links below to find out more.
There was a 15 minute intermission between sets which allowed concert goers a chance to grab a beverage and take in the ambiance of the beautiful storied Massey Hall. Reminiscing a bit, I have seen some amazing shows at this venue like Meat Loaf, Motley Crue, Dixie Chicks and Sheryl Crow to name the most memorable. Tonight that list grew. When Tom Cochrane came out strong, hitting the stage with Boy Inside The Man you knew it was going to be a night filled with hits. It was clear that Tom was pumped for this one with his enthusiasm and kilowat smiles. He also interacted with the audience after each song, which from my experience is what separates the great concerts from the not so great ones. Tom told us that he thinks he talks too much. We whole heartedly disagree. There was so much talent in Tom’s band and to see how Jessica was such a key role in the overall sound of the night and hitting some of the big notes was a treat.
As mentioned it was hit after hit, and having already had Tom’s current album Take It Home on repeat in the car it’s safe to say I was pleased with Sunday Afternoon Hang and Pink Time and my personal favorite off the new album Country Girls Never Get Old. But it was the amazing rendition of I Wish You Well that really got me. The song brought a new meaning on this night. The lyrics of “And then in a little while I see that distant smile returning just like a ghost in a dream that we had way back when. Then she’ll turn and smile and say Come Again” were slowed down and simple. Familiar words took on new meaning and it hit me harder than I could have ever imagined. I know what Tom wrote in this may not have been intended to mean what I interpreted on this night, but that’s the beauty of music and it’s something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I know after speaking with Tom that it is moments like that that help to motivate him to write and perform.
After ending the first set with his biggest hit Life Is A Highway it was his 3 song encore that had the crowd standing throughout. With White Hot, Lunatic Fringe and Another Year closing out the night I don’t think there was a single person walking away from the performance in disappointment. I want to thank the fine folks at Indoor Recess for facilitating the Interview and helping us with tickets for the show. Tom, we will have to grab that beer when my wife can join us. Thanks for the amazing night of music!
Corey Kelly / @CoreyKelly76
Tom Cochrane on Facebook
Jessica Mitchell on Facebook
Jessica Mitchell on Twitter