Seminal ‘70s folk/rock hero Gordon Lightfoot played the Packard Music Hall in Warren on Friday, April 15th. Hitting the stage with a great four-piece backing band, the spry seventy-seven year old Lightfoot stood center stage for the entire two-part show.
Early in the set Gordon had trouble with his guitar cord that was plugged into one of the amps. After fixing it, he joked “One of these days I’m going to get into the twenty-first century,” noting that most artists no longer “plug in” their guitars.
But Lightfoot is old school; and after a successful fifty-plus year career, why change now?
Yes, his voice isn’t as strong as it once was and it was a little raspy from time to time. But you have to give him credit; he’s still out there doing what he loves, playing all the songs that people want to hear. He mentioned that he and his band were playing ten shows in twelve days. That’s a schedule that artists half his age would have difficulty doing.
Lightfoot opened the show with “Sweet Guinevere” and “Did She Mention My Name?” He also showed his guitar skills by switching off between a six and twelve-string acoustic guitar throughout the show.
The first set ended with back to back hits: “Carefree Highway” and “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” The latter was Lightfoot’s strongest vocal performance of the evening.
After a twenty-minute intermission Gordon returned for the second set; he changed his blue vest for a red velvet dinner jacket.
This set was peppered with deep cuts like “Now and Then” and “Ribbon of Darkness” as well as top hits like “Sundown” and “Rainy Day People.”
Bob Dylan has called Gordon Lightfoot a “national treasure.” The next time Lightfoot rolls through town, do yourself a favor and check out his show and see what old Bob was talking about.