Lightfootin'

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From our grumpy copy editor, a guy who's known to actually venture out from time to time, and brave other human beings ....

Went to see Gordon Lightfoot at the Fox Theatre Sunday evening. He mentioned his first concert in the States was in '65 at Masonic Temple, with Oscar Peterson and Vaughn Meader (a comedic JFK impersonator obviously on the way out by 1965). My friend thought he might have seen Lightfoot in the late '60s, but couldn't be sure.

The singer's voice, at 71, was less resonant, trailed off into high wisps. It was hardly like on records -- but acceptable when listeners got used to it. And Gordon Lightfoot has 45 years of his songs to sing. "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" with its Detroit references, other ship songs, broken romance songs, faster country, even reggae numbers, "Early Morning Rain."

His band tastefully inserted bass, guitar and organ licks, and the drumming loudly pumped several tunes. The simple lighting was subtle and sometimes striking.

When he'd sing, say, a young man's reminiscence like "Did She Mention my Name," the incongruence was spared only by thinking, "Hey, they're all his songs, so ..."

A quiet, hypnotic, melancholic guitar song near the end perfectly seemed to address issues closer to his time and heart. It was the highlight, and fine at any age.


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