The defining character of any great performer is their ability to connect and relate to their audience- some folks just seem to have the gift to enrapture a crowd and after the amazing show last night I am pleased to report to you that Randy Bachman is one such individual.
Best known for his time spent giving us the classic sounds of The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive – Bachman and band took us by the hand and walked us through his nearly 60-year career.
To say that his set list is impressive would be doing a huge disservice to the catalog that this quiet icon has cultivated.
Hitting the stage promptly at 7:30 Bachman and his band set a laid-back, casual tone – it was evident early that this was going to be Storytellers style show and while the songs are iconic – the stories behind them are nothing short of amazing.
With a friendly – “just sitting at the bar shooting the shit with friends” demeanor – he led us through his early, formative years of playing anyplace that would let them set up their equipment for $400 a show – loading up their beat-up car and driving back and forth through Canada. He related tales of hanging with Neil Young, touring with Alice Cooper and eventually hitting it big with These Eyes – and how the name The Guess Who came to be. We heard the story behind American Woman – a career-defining song – and how that led to him leaving The Guess Who and forming Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
Each song brought a story – of either how it came to be or the inspiration for the title. Some of the stories hilarious – others heartbreaking but through it, all Bachman held true to his formula of letting his life dictate the course of his music. The story behind Taking Care Of Business – originally titled White Collar Worker and the way in which it was inspired and then slowly cultivated into the song we know today – it was absolute magic listening to Bachman relate the journey of that now classic song. Turns out that the amazing keyboard work in that song was actually performed but some dude who happened to be delivering a pizza to the recording studio that day. The delivery man noted that he thought it would sound better with some keyboards and after some pleading – Bachman agreed to let the young man sit in – never planning on using the piano tracks he laid down.
When the record execs heard the addition of the keyboards – they went nuts and history was made. You can’t make some shit up!
It was stories like that though – of which there were plenty as the evening progressed – that made the evening so freaking special. Bachman connected with us all – and there was not an unpleased fan in attendance.
Personally – I loved his time spent with Hey You, Let It Ride and his son Tai Bachman – who plays rhythm guitar and keyboards took the spotlight to perform his 1999 hit She’s So High – I had forgotten how much I loved that song – and this live rendition was chill-inducing.
Overall – I have to rank this show as one of my favorites of the year. So much history, so much talent and just so much fun.
Ending the night with You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet – Bachman had the crowd filing out smiling ear to ear, all of us glad to have had the opportunity to spend this intimate evening with a true pioneer of rock music.