The CNE line up this year has some great acts to Wow the Crowd. The Bandshell is a great venue for Toronto audiences to see great shows and it is a great venue for any out of town guest who just happen to come in on that particular day to enjoy the sights and sounds of The EX.
Friday night was really special because you had a chance to see April Wine rock out to the absolutely packed venue. This was their 50th anniversary and they still had a lot of Rock left in them to melt your face off. They are still loud and very proud of their history as a rock Band. Myles Goodwyn, founder of April Wine reminisced about some of the other times he got to grace this stage over the years. There was their first time playing The Bandshell back in 1973 and he admitted they really sucked that night. Well they have had many years to practice and got their stream rolling to have a long career.
They opened with songs that go back to the beginning like, “Could Have Been a Lady” and, “Train”. The third song was a rare gem called, “Weeping Widow”, and then they slowed things down for a moment with, “Just Between You and Me”. The band did not rest on their laurels very long as they dove into the King Crimson monster, “21st Century Schizoid Man”.
Other gems you don’t hear often were the heavy rock disaster, “Crash and Burn”, and the true fan favourite, “Before the Dawn”. Well it wouldn’t be an April Wine concert without a couple of solos. So during, “Crash and Burn”, bass player Richard Lanthier pulled out some of his dark grooves and spread them out like a twilight communion to a hungry crowd. If you were lucky you may have grabbed one of his Bass picks as he kept throwing them out to the audience.
One of the anthems everyone comes to see is, “I Like to Rock”. That is when a drum solo broke out by the highly confident pounder, Roy “Nip” Nichol. His style was like an ode to the former drummer Jerry Mercer. Highly intense drumming mixed with a bongo style of playing and back to severe pounding until your head was ringing.
The rest of the evening was like putting on April Wine’s greatest hits with songs like, “Say Hello”,” Rock and Roll is a Vicious Game”, “Tonight is a Wonderful Time to Fall in Love”, and “Roller”. The evening would not be complete without their signature tune, “Sign of the Gypsy Queen”.
The ravenous crowd would not let them go until they got an encore song. The band was already passed the curfew time, but like any great Rock band they ignored it so the crowd would walk away happy. If you had a good view of the drum kit you would have seen a suspicious red fire alarm bell attached near the top of the kit. Any good fan knew what was coming up next. All I can say was, “Oowatanite”, everything going to be alright!
Well this vicious game was now over and the crowd of brand new fans and diehards walked away with a smile knowing this band still likes to Rock. I am sure we will catch them again in the near future.
Here are a few images from April Wine’s performance:
A big Thank you to The Bandshell for always bringing A1 quality acts for everyone to see. There is still time to check out some more great Canadian talent, go to www.theex.com to see who is left before the season is over.