Ontario Shows 14., 15. & 16. 8. 2009


I
had the pleasure of seeing Al and Dave this past weekend for three shows. The first was in Kitchener, Ontario (about an hour west of Toronto), and the next two at the popular Hugh's Room in Toronto. I had the pleasure and honour of
being the 'unofficial tour assistant' - selling CDs for Dave, helping carrying guitars, etc.

Friday was the first time Al and Dave had been to Kitchener. The venue was formerly a movie theatre, and had just recently opened. There were a few sound issues at the beginning during Dave's opening set, which got sorted out quickly before Al came on to join Dave.

Friday Aug. 14 - Gig Music Hall - Kitchener, ON

Square Peg Blues
Waiting for Godot
Say Goodbye To The Elephants (accompanied by Pete Melford, a friend of Dave's living in Ontario)
The Loyalist

Al joins...

Angry Bird
Lord Grenville
(A Child's View of the) Eisenhower Years
Bedsitter Images
On The Border
Night Train to Munich
Travelling Javelin Salesman  (A new song Al is working on; I believe it's untitled but this is the subject matter.)
Gina In The King's Road

Intermission

Waiting For A Sign
All Too Human
Lucky (with Pete)
Thunder Bay

Al joins....

House of Clocks
The Palace of Versailles
A League of Notions
Football Hero
Midas Shadow
Carol
Year of the Cat

Encore: End of the Day

Saturday Aug. 15 - Hugh's Room - Toronto, ON

Square Peg Blues
Say Goodbye To The Elephants (with Pete)
The Loyalist

Al joins....

Angry Bird
Lord Grenville
(A Child's View of the) Eisenhower Years
On The Border
Night Train To Munich
Travelling Javelin Salesman
Bedsitter Images
Time Passages

Intermission

George's Corner
Thing of Beauty
Without a Compass

Al joins....

If It Doesn't Come Naturally, Leave It
The Palace of Versailles
A League of Notions
Midas Shadow
The News From Spain
Carol
Year of the Cat

Encore: End of the Day (Al didn't pick up his guitar for this one, but instead was drinking a glass of wine, and finished the whole thing during the course of this song!)

Sunday Aug. 16 - Hugh's Room - Toronto, ON

Midnight Sea
Descartes in Amsterdam
Real Good Thing

Al joins....

Angry Bird
Lord Grenville
Flying Sorcery
(A Child's View of the) Eisenhower Years
On The Border
Night Train to Munich
Clifton In The Rain/A Small Fruit Song
Time Passages

Intermission

El Nino
Play All Night
Lucky

Al joins....

Gina In The King's Road
The Palace of Versailles
A League of Notions
Midas Shadow
The News From Spain
Year of the Cat

Encore: End of the Day (Complete with glass of wine)

Dave's CDs were selling well, especially on Sunday night. Pre-orders for Uncorked were also being taken, and many were very enthusiastic about the new CD. The artwork is complete and I did see it. Special thanks go to Paul Stangas for his involvement in making this album happen.
Those of you that have seen Dave lately will know that he has been on a special diet and has lost a considerable amount of weight over the last few months. I almost didn't recognize him!
It was very nice seeing some old friends again, especially Mike and Deb from Cleveland.
I haven't been on one of my road trips in recent years, as Al and Dave have been coming to Ontario every year for the last five years. Maybe the next set of shows I'll do another road trip...


I've developed a bit of a routine doing the 'tour assistant' things, especially at Hugh's Room. (I've been doing it for a few years now.) I usually go with friends and the table we get is not far from the merchandise table. There is also a staff member from the venue seated right by the merchandise table who watches it and will sell things while I step away. So I do have time to look at the menu, tell my friends what I would like for dinner, and then they just wave me back over when the food arrives. I also see the entire show and just head back to the merchandise table during the breaks and after the show. It works pretty smoothly. Hugh's Room is a lot like the Towne Crier in Pawling, NY; similar layout and size.

On the first night, there was quite a bit of feedback coming from the speakers on the right side during one of Dave's opening songs, and Dave did make sort of face when he heard it. He was also having trouble with his monitors, but we couldn't hear that from the audience. They did get it fixed quickly though. It's a new venue so I guess they are still getting used to things. Hugh's Room is well established and are busy year round, and there are never sound problems there. Sound checks there are very quick.

I don't think a single glass of wine will change Al's mood, but on the Sunday night he did have some before the show in his dressing room with a friend that had brought some. I think it just depends on his mood that day and how tired he is. Sunday night you could sense that he was a bit anxious to leave, presumably because they were catching a flight Monday. There was a man Sunday night that must have had twenty things to sign, and even when Al asked him to wait until the end so that others would not be kept waiting, he persisted and said he had to leave in a hurry. Al was not pleased, but signed everything anyway. There was also another man who must have been drunk that night, because during one of Al's stories, he just walked right up to the stage and stood in front of it and said "I have two questions." Al and Dave looked at him like he was nuts, and let him speak. I didn't quite hear everything that was said, but I do remember Al saying "I hope the second question is more sensible." ***) He went on to say that he had just bought the TP CD from a used record store and thought that Song On The Radio was outstanding, and he wanted to hear it. Al said it was too complicated to do it because of all the saxophone parts.

Al was quite accommodating with the photo taking at the very end. Several photos were taken with different groups of people.
I don't think any of me were taken with Al this time around.
I should also mention that on the first night "Night Train To Munich" became "Night Train To Antwerp". Someone had mentioned something about Belgium before the song started, and Al sang Antwerp instead of Munich.


Patrick Neals


***)
His first question was something like, "hey, you're a nice looking guy, just like Peter Frampton. So, what happened to your hair?" Unbelievable! It was really nice of Al to mention him later and play "Time Passages".

Danke an Beth Scanell für die Aufklärung der ersten Frage!