It was Opening night at the CNE and you couldn’t ask for better weather. Well that is what Burton Cumming just couldn’t get over throughout his show. He must have mentioned the weather about 4 times. Well the packed Bandshell didn’t mind since Burton opened the show with the ever popular No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature. He quickly slid into, “Hand me down World” and then got the audience to participate with the fun loving tribute to Wolfman Jack, with, “Clap for the Wolfman”.
Like any great Burton Cumming show you know there are going to be plenty of hits from his 50+ year career. He got the crowd, “Laughing”, and then went for a Canadian Road trip with, “Running back to Saskatoon”.
The other thing I enjoy about a Burton Cummings show is he is not afraid to do some cover songs. I think this is his way of breaking up all his popular songs and teaching the audience some of the underground classics that he enjoyed throughout the years. He did a cover of a JJ Cale tune named, “Trouble in the City” and he also did a song by The Equals called, “Baby come back”.
Other great tunes he let loose on were, “Stand Tall”, “My own way to Rock”, and “Albert Flasher”. There was the personal sing along with, “These eyes” and the time honoured,”My Backyard”, that you rarely hear. Burton has such a huge catalogue of music that you are lucky to hear only half of his hits in one show. He could fill another show with all different hits.
Speaking of hits, Mr Cummings decided to bring on a guest musician to play a couple of songs with him. That is when my son started to scream out, “Guess Who is back in town”. I just laughed at his enthusiasm because there was no way Randy Bachman would get on that stage. Well Randy Bachman got onto that stage! No Way! This was one of the moments that makes me proud to be in a Torontonian audience. The place completely erupted in pure excitement and joy. Randy strapped on a guitar and said he was practicing this song and he think he may have it down by now. The opening chords of “American woman”, hit us like a ton of brick and the joyfest began. After that Randy went back to his BTO Anthem and played, “Taking care of Business”. Was there going to be a third song? Yep, they finished the evening with the ever popular, “No Time”. Wow this was the treat of the summer that no one was ever going to forget. Burton came back for his encore and finish with our Canadian Hippie anthem, “Share the land”. What made this evening special was not only a great set list but the fact that everyone there sang nearly every song and knew the words to these great tunes. I remember looking at strangers around me and as we made eye contact we were all singing the words together. By the way, the weather was perfect!
Here are a few images from Burton Cummings’ performance:
A big thanks to the CNE for putting on a stellar concert for free! Check out the rest of the line up for this year at www.theex.com