Mavis Staples took the Massey hall stage and did what she was born to do. She sang about the truth. Mavis is a powerhouse performer that never needs to apologize or back down from sensitive issues. She started with the song, “If you’re ready (Come go with me)”. The audience knew they were on not just a journey but an odyssey. This was one of those nights where Toronto showed up and gave back to a legendary performer.
The magic of the night belonged to the younger devotees. There were plenty of young 20 somethings in the crowd that stood and danced for the entire show. Their enthusiasm gave the rest of the crowd the energy to cheer loudly for all the great music Mavis was throwing out.
She even threw in a couple of great cover tunes, like, “For what it’s worth” by Buffalo Springfield, and “Slippery People”, by The Talking Heads. She also added some early Staple singer songs like “What you gonna do”, and “Respect Yourself”. The highlight came when she sang the Martin Luther King tribute song, “Freedom Highway”.
The crowd was enthralled and enchanted by her grace and her messages. There was a great moment when she sang, “Touch a hand, make a friend”, and Massey hall started to shake the hand of strangers next to them. I got involved in that moment and even hugged my new friends when we were down at the merchandise table after show.
She finished the night with, “I’ll take you there”. Well she did just that.
To learn more about this legend go to https://www.mavisstaples.com/
Here are a couple of pics from the Mavis Staples performance: