Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

July 24, 2013

Rain doesn't dampen spirits of Blue Rodeo -- or their fans at Artpark

Niagara Gazette — It was not a sellout crowd, but the audience at Blue Rodeo’s show Tuesday was the most tenacious of the season, withstanding the worst of a short but ferocious downpour less than an hour before the band hit the stage.

The rain caused about a 40-minute delay, giving the crew time to squeegee the stage and another crew the opportunity to blow-dry everything in sight with what appeared to be leaf blowers.

The rain certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of the group’s fans. It’s been a long time since I have seen a crowd that loved a group as much as Blue Rodeo’s audience did. They knew all the words to the songs and danced happily in the aisles as if there never was a rainstorm.

When the show finally did start the band launched into an impressive version of “Head Over Heels” including the lyrics, “I’m sick and tired of waiting with nothing to do watching the rain through the crack in the window, it’s the little things that get you through like the same sun rising on me is rising over you.”

While the sun never reappeared over Artpark, at least the rain never came back either.

It was a very different crowd from what I have been used to this season. The beer lines were non-existent, and yet the line to get a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee was ridiculously long. There were also many parents with their children in tow, making it a very family friendly and joyous event.

Musically the band sounded magnificent. Jim Cuddy’s vocals were spot on all evening, whether he was singing a ballad or an up-tempo number.

The band really hit their stride late in the set with a hot version of “Diamond Mine.” They took the set to a new level with a powerful and apropos version of “After the Rain,” that really captured the emotion of the evening.

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